As Cummins and his teammates took to the podium to celebrate with bottles of champagne in hand, Usman Khawaja slipped away because drinking alcohol is against his religion. Seeing his absence, the Australian skipper stopped the others from popping the corks, motioning to keep the bubbly on the ice while he recalled Khawaja so he could take part fully in the celebrations.
Footage of the moment Cummins waved Khawaja back has since gone viral, with fans and sports heroes commenting on their respect and admiration for Cummins. Golf writer Ben Everill tweeted: “A big thank you for Cummins gesture 2 stop the champagne to bring Khawaja back into the celebrations! That’s an Australian skipper right there. I’m sure the boys have had plenty since then, but he ensured inclusiveness.
Speaking of Australia’s performance in the Ashes and the year ahead, Cummins is proud of the team but feels they still have to test themselves in all conditions and against all countries. “It was quite foreign conditions to what we normally expect in Australia,” he said after the Hobart test. “It was a green wicket, but I think the way Marnus (Labuschagne), Travis Head and Cam Green took the game was a really good model for any foreign conditions that we might expect.”
He added: “We can be the type of team that is brave enough to take that positivity overseas if we need it. I think that puts us in a great place.
Australia now travel to Pakistan in March and April for three Test matches, followed by three ODIs and a T20 clash. A trip to Sri Lanka and India is also planned for 2022.