Pat Cummins has become the fourth captain since the turn of the century to win the Cricket World Cup the year after getting married. Cummins led Australia to a sixth men's World Cup trophy on Sunday night as the Aussies beat India by six wickets in the final.
The Aussie captain's gutsy move to send India in to bat paid off in spades, with the tournament hosts only managing 240 on a slow wicket that proved difficult for batting. But just like Cummins predicted, the pitch sped up in the second innings with the help of some evening dew and the Aussies had a much easier time of it.
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After an early stumble left them at 3-47, Travis Head (137) and Marnus Labuschagne (58 not out) guided the Aussies to glory with seven overs to spare. It capped off a brilliant year for Cummins as captain after his Aussie side retained the Ashes in England, won the World Test Championship and now the ODI World Cup.
Australia's win came against all odds, but a curious trend has been pointed out on social media that suggests it was written in the stars all along. Cummins became the fourth captain in recent times to win the World Cup the year after getting married - joining Ricky Ponting, MS Dhoni and Eoin Morgan.
Ponting won the World Cup in 2003 after marrying wife Rianna in 2002, while Dhoni led India to glory in 2011 after tying the knot with Sakshi in 2010. Morgan helped England win the 2019 World Cup the year after getting hitched to Tara Ridgway in 2018, and now Cummins has won the 2023 edition after marrying wife Becky in 2022.
The only captain to buck the trend is Michael Clarke, who led Australia to glory in 2015 but married ex-wife Kyly Boldy in 2012. Ponting also won the 2007 World Cup.
— 12th Khiladi (@12th_khiladi) November 20, 2023
Pat Cummins' World Cup triumph amid difficult time for family
The curious trend is obviously a complete coincidence, but goes some way to supporting the theory that on-field performance goes hand-in-hand with happiness off it. For Cummins, the World Cup triumph came amid a difficult year in which his mother Maria died and he spent the majority of 2023 away from his family in Australia.
"I've obviously had a really big year," he said after Sunday's final. "I know my family at home is watching, just got a message from dad saying he's had a lot of 4am wake-ups, not going to bed until 4am, so he's as pumped as anything.
"You sacrifice a lot to play for Australia and everyone in the team has and we've spent a lot of this year away but we do it for these moments. This is huge, that's the pinnacle in cricket, winning a World Cup, especially here in India, in front of a crowd like this.
"It's been a big year for everyone but our cricket team has been here in India, Ashes, World Test Championship and to top it off with this is just huge. These are the moments that you'll remember for the rest of your life."
Josh Hazlewood said the 2023 triumph is better than when he was part of the team that won the World Cup in Australia in 2015. "This is bigger than 2015. We won that at home in front of our home fans," he said.
"But the challenges we've been through the last couple of months, coming here, playing in these conditions against India, who are a pretty special team. Getting the win on a day like this is amazing."
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