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Pat Cummins feared Test cricket career was over

In what’s been a tumultuous year for Australian cricket, Pat Cummins is just about everyone’s feel good story.

Cummins was named the winner of the Allan Border Medal for the first time on Monday – ahead of Nathan Lyon and Aaron Finch.

It was only eight years ago when Cummins burst onto the scene as a skinny, young 18-year-old in South Africa under a Ricky Ponting led Australian side – when he took 6/79 to get the tourists back into the game and chase down 310.

However, a series of ongoing injuries and stress fractures has limited Cummins’ career in the sport.

The 25-year-old spent six years away from the national team as he battled to recover from several extended stints on the sidelines.

Cummins admitted he didn’t know if his body would be up to the longer form of the game.

“Test cricket, I felt so far away from that for quite a few years,” Cummins said.

“I think every time I came back I felt like I got my form back and didn’t lose any pace or anything like that, but I felt like my body was just up for one-day cricket, 10 overs was about my limit.

“To get back to Test cricket, I felt like I was years away.

“I’ve got to thank the medical staff and everyone around me, Cricket Australia have stuck by me and put in heaps of hours to get myself and my body in the position where I could play back to back cricket.

“I’m absolutely loving not having to worry about my body all the time now and just worry about going and bowling, it’s been really satisfying.”

It’s been an eventful 12 months for Australian cricket stemming back from that ball-tampering scandal in South Africa – which saw three players suspended, a cultural review implemented and a number of Executives depart as a result.

Cummins said it’s been great for the team to get some success on the pitch.

“I think it’s been two different six months,” Cummins said.

“I think the first six months we didn’t play too much cricket and obviously there was so many things outside of it going on.

“But I think the last six months of the summer everyone couldn’t wait for it to get started.

“It’s been really good, there’s been incredible support for the team and within the team I feel like we’ve played some really good cricket.”

Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview with Pat Cummins below.

Cummins wasn’t the only first time winner of the night, with Alyssa Healy the recipient of the Belinda Clark Medal as the best female cricketer over the last 12 months.

Healy was also named the ODI and T20 International player of the year in the women’s game.

The 28-year-old said confidence has been a huge part of her success over the past year.

“I think confidence plays a big role especially in cricket, it’s such a mental game, if you never believe you’re good enough yourself you won’t succeed,” Healy said.

“I felt like I’ve matured into my game this year and I took a lot of confidence from that and just went out there and played with freedom and played the way everyone told me I could.

“I’m just really enjoying my cricket at the moment and I think that shows.

“I can’t really put down to one specific thing, but everyone says you peak around 27, 28, so maybe it’s that.”

Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview with Alyssa Healy below.

James Willis