Pat Cummins has revealed his shock at being added to a private WhatsApp group by Scott Morrison and how he accidentally sent the former Prime Minister a message that was meant for his teammates.
Cummins’ surprise is laid bare in the second season of The Test, Amazon’s behind-the-scenes documentary on the Aussie cricket team, which premieres on January 13
In an episode of the four-part second series, Cummins is travelling in a car with Mitchell Starc ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane when he discovers Morrison has added him to a WhatsApp group called ‘The Legends’
Pat Cummins has revealed Scott Morrison added him to a private WhatsApp group containing former Aussie coach Justin Langer after he was made Test captain
The group also featured former Australia coach Justin Langer, who resigned halfway through the documentary, which encompasses a 4-0 hammering of England and Test series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Cummins’ predecessor, Tim Paine, was also part of a WhatsApp group with Langer and Morrison during his tenure as Australia’s Test captain.
In a bizarre coincidence, the group created by the former Prime Minister shared the name with the group chat containing the Australian bowlers and it led to an embarrassing moment for Cummins.
‘The bowlers have a WhatsApp group called “The Legends”, which we named ourselves,’ he told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Morrison nicknamed the group ‘The Legends’ and regularly messaged Cummins
The group shared the name with the group Aussie bowlers including Cummins and Mitchell Starc (right) created for themselves on WhatsApp
‘Then I got added to “The Legends” group, which was another one, by Scott Morrison, then prime minister, and I remember having a laugh with the boys thinking I’d better not send the wrong thing to the wrong group.
‘I did once. I think it was a stat or a photo or a meme or something that came up and I sent it to the wrong group and I quickly had to delete it.’
And the chat with Langer and Morrison was far from dormant, with Cummins revealing the former Prime Minister would regularly send messages ahead of Test matches.
The second series of the Test takes place at ‘a tumultuous time for leadership on the Australian men’s cricket team’, set against the backdrop of Paine’s resignation as captain and Langer’s acrimonious departure.
Morrison had a similar group with Cummins’ predecessor Tim Paine (middle left)
The duo featured prominently in the first series of The Test, but are conspicuous by their absence in the second season.
Langer coached Australia to T20 World Cup and Ashes glory only to resign less than a month after Australia had retained the urn.
The former Australian opener left his role in February after he was not offered the long-term deal he wanted, with Cricket Australia offering a contract to keep in charge only until the end of the 2022 T20 World Cup.
His position had been subject of debate since the summer of 2021, when Australia lost a Test series at home against India and reports of discontent with his methods began to surface.
The new series of The Test, Amazon’s behind-the-scenes documentary on the Aussie cricket team, is released on January 13
Two months ago, Langer reignited his war of words with Cricket Australia as he slammed some of the players as ‘cowards’ with ‘an axe to grind’.
Cummins, however, batted the criticism away ahead of the summer.
‘There’s no cowards in an Australian cricket team, not ever,’ he said ahead of the series against the West Indies in November.
‘I think it’s disappointing sometimes the focus gets drawn to off-field issues but it hasn’t really affected our team. I think there’s no ill will to what he [Langer] was trying to do and he clarified [his comments] afterwards.’
Cummins was at the centre of controversy himself earlier this summer, when he faced criticism for his stance on climate change.
A disappointing T20 World Cup and poor attendances during the Test against the West Indies in Perth fuelled speculations that the public may be turned off by the team’s stance on social issues.
Tim Paine (left) and Justin Langer (right) prominently in the first series of The Test, but are conspicuous by their absence in the second season after resigning from their roles
But the Aussie quick said the recent series against South Africa proved the team remained as popular as ever.
‘At the start of the summer there was no real cricket to talk about, so that became the narrative,’ he said.
‘The team’s ability to park that conjecture to the side and just get on with what they’re doing has been great.
‘Every venue we’ve gone to, the crowds have been fantastic.’