‘You were dealt crappy hand of cards, but you are a champion’: Oncologist treating Pat Cummins’ mother writes emotional obit

Nicholas Wilcken, the oncologist treating Australian Test captain Pat Cummins’ mother Maria wrote an emotional piece on her after she passed away on Friday. Australian cricketer Pat missed the third Test at Indore and the ongoing game at Ahmedabad to be by her side with Steve Smith taking over the reins of the team.

In the piece, published by The Sydney Morning Herald, Wilcken praised Maria and her husband Peter for their ‘extraordinary calmness and dignity when things got complicated’.

“‘Grace under pressure’ is an easy phrase — and not that it doesn’t mean anything — but Maria was more than that. Somehow she was even stronger after setbacks, had that poise, never complained. When she came into my clinic room with Peter, I could never really tell just how tough (or not) she was doing it,” wrote Wilcken, who was Maria’s oncologist for 16 years.

According to reports, Maria had been diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2005.

The Sydney-based doctor went on to add: “Lastly, it all got difficult. I don’t want to go into that. Except to say that Maria was in charge the whole way through. I have no idea how I will negotiate that phase of life myself, but I was very happy to watch her and I learnt a lot.

“Farewell, my friend. You were dealt a crappy hand of cards, but we got together, we played it as well as we could. There were lots of good times, especially with Peter. I learnt from you. I still do Wordle every night. You are a champion.”

Cricket Australia and the BCCI both released statements on Friday, with the Australian team announcing that they will take the field wearing black armbands.

“We are deeply saddened at the passing of Maria Cummins overnight. On behalf of Australian Cricket, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Pat, the Cummins family and their friends,” a statement from CA read.

“On behalf of Indian Cricket, we express our sadness at the passing away of Pat Cummins mother. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family in this difficult period,” the BCCI tweeted.

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