Cricketer reveals mum’s battle with breast cancer
Sydney superstar Pat Cummins says he will feel "quite emotional" on Jane McGrath Day as the Pink Test fundraiser goes virtual to combat the reduced crowd capacity at the SCG.
Cummins was in Year 7 when his mother Maria was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, but 13 years later Maria was in the SCG stands when Cummins played in his first home Test.
"Mum went through all the chemo and radiation therapy. It lasted about six months. She's one of the lucky ones, she came out the other side," Cummins said after that match.
"As a kid you think, 'Mum said it's going to be alright so it's going to be alright.' It's not until you get a bit older when you think, 'That was really serious'."
For 13 years the SCG has been awash with pink to help raise money to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses.
But around 100,000 Sydneysiders will miss out on watching Cummins terrorise India's batsmen this year after NSW Health slashed the SCG crowd capacity to 25 per cent because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
However Aussies can purchase a virtual Pink Seat at the SCG for $20 this year to help the McGrath Foundation reach its $1 million target during the Test.
Cummins, 27, took eight wickets and made 24 not-out to be man-of-the-match in his first SCG Test during the 2017-18 Ashes series, which remains a special memory for the golden boy of Australian cricket.
"I actually feel quite emotional on Jane McGrath Day, because the Pink Test shows the best in Australia," Australia's vice-captain told the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
"It's just such a significant day on the Australian sporting calendar. For players, it's always very special on the field and being part of all of the celebrations, but it's even more important to the families who've lived through breast cancer.
"It's something myself and (fiancee) Becky are very passionate about, and we just know how important it is for everybody to come together and acknowledge how tough it is, but also how crucial it is to raise funds to have as many McGrath Breast Care Nurses out in the community as possible.
"It would be a special occasion even without crowds, I guess that's what happens when something builds so much momentum over 13 years.
"We're grateful that there'll be at least 10,000 fans there on Jane McGrath Day to celebrate the occasion and no doubt it's going to be another special day where the SCG, and the entire cricket community either at the SCG or at home, turns pink."
At 5pm on Tuesday the McGrath Foundation had already raised $37,760 through its virtual seat initiative.
"We always look forward to seeing people pinking up with our bandanas to help bathe the SCG in pink as a symbolic show of support for those experiencing breast cancer and raising much needed funds for the McGrath Foundation," Glenn McGrath said on Tuesday.
"But the reality is the Pink Test will look a little bit different this year.
"(But buying virtual seats) is a simple, easy way everyone can get involved, whether they're at the SCG or watching from home."
Originally published as Cricketer reveals mum's battle with breast cancer