Climate crusader Pat Cummins drives one of the world’s most polluting vehicles and has been pictured flying first class, but still opposes Cricket Australia entering into a sponsorship deal with one of the country’s biggest greenhouse gas polluters because it did not ‘fit’ with his climate change views .
Cummins was reportedly concerned that Alinta’s parent company Pioneer Sail Holdings is one of the country’s biggest carbon emitters and shared his ‘ethical concerns’ with Hockley, who he talks to ‘quite a bit’.
He has explained why he expressed concern about a potential new deal with the energy company.
“More than ever before, you see the players’ personalities and interests and passions shine through and have a little bit more impact than maybe before,” Cummins said Nine Newspapers on Tuesday.
Test captain Pat Cummins (pictured with partner Becky Boston) took on Cricket Australia’s biggest sponsor
‘I think the most obvious things you can see is who we partner with. So I hope that when we think about who we want to join, who we want to invite to be part of cricket, I hope climate is a real priority.
‘I have my own personal views, so when it comes to personal sponsorships, there are some companies I won’t join. When we get money, whether it’s programs for junior cricket, grassroots, things for fans around Australia, I feel a real responsibility that with it, on balance, we do what’s right.’
This is despite Cummins uploading a photo of himself in the past enjoying the benefits of first class travel. A World Bank study recently revealed that the carbon footprint of first-class airline passengers is up to seven times that of economy.
Cummins has also been photographed driving a Range Rover, considered to be among the most carbon-polluting SUVs.
Cummins’ comments have sparked massive outrage and come after the Australian Diamonds netball players recently refused to wear a team uniform bearing the logo of mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s company – Hancock Prospecting.
Radio 2GB breakfast host Ben Fordham weighed in on the saga, saying sport and politics don’t go together.
He suggested Cummins stick to being a world-class bowler instead of telling Cricket Australia’s marketing department how to do its job.
“The idea that the national captain is personally lobbying for his boss to cancel a $40 million sponsorship deal is just absolutely crazy,” Fordham told listeners.
“It’s an electricity company – not an illegal bikie gang!”
Fordham isn’t suggesting that sports stars keep a vow of silence, but they should be careful about what grounds they campaign on.
‘No industry is immune to criticism,’ he concluded his tirade.
‘Banks, insurance, mining companies, fast food, soft drinks, alcohol, gambling, media companies.
‘If you draw a line through them all… there will be no sponsors left!’
Pat Cummins has previously been pictured enjoying the benefits of flying first class. He is pictured testing business class beds in a Qantas A380
One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham joined the outrage – pointing out that Cummins featured in an Alinta Energy TV advertising campaign for their call centres, where he answered a phone call while doing yoga.
‘Wasn’t Pat Cummins in Alinta Energy’s advertising campaign?’ he subtitles the ad.
Other critics, including Fordham, also pointed out that Alinta Energy put its reputation on the line when the company signed on as Cricket Australia’s main partner in 2018.
Australian cricket was in one of its darkest periods at the time in the wake of the ball-tampering saga in South Africa.
Pat Cummins (pictured in December 2021) has been photographed driving a Land Rover considered one of the world’s most carbon polluting SUVs
Earlier this year, he teamed up with other teammates and women cricketers in the lead a new organization that aims to reduce the sport’s footprint.
Cricket for Climate was launched with a push to get solar installed at local 4000 local clubs and that’s just the start.
“We’re looking at all the options and we’re excited about what’s coming,” Cummins told reporters in February.
He added that the effects of climate change are real for cricketers.
“A few years ago bushfire smoke made it hard to breathe while bowling, you couldn’t see the ball from the sideline,” Cummins continued.
‘We’ve also experienced it abroad – Bangladesh, India – where the air quality can be down, but also just incredible temperatures that literally made it impossible to play.
“Even preparing a wicket requires a really stable climate, so we’re right in the middle of that.”
He has also suggested that smarter game plans could reduce emissions from cricketers, and has called for action to offset the carbon footprint of their travel.
Pat Cummins told Cricket Australia that Alinta Energy does not align with his personal views