Belfast: Rising Australia fast bowling hope Pat Cummins is to make an unusual return to action from injury by playing for the Northern Ireland Cricket Academy in Belfast on Wednesday. The 20-year-old will play against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) before switching side two days later to play against Ireland Under-19s, who are preparing for their Under-19 World Cup qualifiers in the Netherlands in August.
Cummins's participation in the two matches comes after an agreement between Cricket Australia and Cricket Ireland. Cummins, who has not played since October last year due to stress fractures in his back, was already in Belfast as a non-playing member of the Australia A squad that completed a 93-run win over Ireland in their four-day game on Sunday.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for the young players to play with and against someone of the calibre of Pat Cummins," Ireland Under-19 coach Ryan Eagleson said in a Cricket Ireland statement issued Tuesday. "It'll be a wonderful experience for them and help in their cricketing development.
I know they're all excited and can't wait for the matches to start," he added. Cummins enjoyed a spectacular debut in what remains his only Test to date when he took six wickets for 79 runs and hit the winning runs in Australia's series-levelling win over South Africa in Johannesburg in November 2011.Injuries, however, have since prevented Cummins from adding to his solitary Test cap.