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Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 14:41 GMT
The second Cummins
By Martin Gough
BBC Sport in St Lucia

Two months away from his 41st birthday, Anderson Cummins is one of just five players at this World Cup who took part in the 1992 tournament in Australia.

Anderson Cummins
I'm 40 and if I try to pretend I'm 25 I'll fall flat

Canada's Anderson Cummins
The others - Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Sanath Jayasuriya - are all household names.

So is Cummins - at least, he is in his own house.

Fifteen years ago he was part of the West Indies pace attack, coming in first change behind the great Curtly Ambrose.

So what are the differences between then and now.

"One of the things I realised pretty early is that I'm 40 and if I try to pretend I'm 25 I'll fall flat," he told BBC Sport.

"I bowl with the new ball but I do more with it than I used to, at a slower pace. The run-up is shorter. But it's all about what I can contribute to this team."

Having gained 63 one-day caps for the West Indies, at a strike rate better than the likes of Ambrose and Marshall, Cummins gave up international cricket in 1996 and moved to Canada.

There, he says, he "got married, settled, got a real job like normal people".

While working as an IT manager, he played league cricket for a couple of years but then took a break for six seasons.

His comeback was a stage-by-stage affair. His club asked him to come back and help some of the younger players, two of whom he believes have international futures.

When Andy Pick, who Cummins knew from his time in county cricket with Durham, took over as Canada's coach, he spoke to the veteran about coaching the fast bowlers.

Cummins had other ideas and in August, when he decided he was fit enough, he declared his intention to return to the international scene after a decade's break.

But emulating Kepler Wessels of Australia and South Africa in playing for two nations in a World Cup, played no part in his thinking.

"Those are nice little bits of icing on the cake but when I set my goal to get back here I wasn't looking at those things I was looking at being in good enough shape to contribute."

When Cummins last played against England, in 1994, the line-up included Mike Atherton, Graeme Hick and Matthew Maynard - the only remaining England squad member as he is now their assistant coach.

I had a bit of a shock when I saw Anderson Cummins out there - I played against him!

TV commentator Ian Botham

So far in his second coming, Cummins has done little to worry the world's best.

In eight matches against minor nations during the World Cricket League in Kenya he managed only five wickets at 48.60, with an economy rate of 6.39 per over.

He was the pick of a poor pace attack against Kenya, despite a spate of wides, finding just enough shape to have opener David Obuya caught behind for figures of 1-16 in his first six overs.

"In Kenya, in Mombasa, we played in 39-degree [Celsius] temperatures - really humid, really tough. Nairobi was at altitude, which was tough," he admitted.

"There was a lot of pain in Kenya but in the break before we came here it got easier.

"From game to game now I don't have niggles. I guess it's just about working and getting back into the routine."

Cummins refuses to wallow in the past but he finds a smile when he talks about his favourite wicket of 1992, even if the man in question had already scored a century.

Cummins bowling for West Indies
Cummins fires one down during his former career for West Indies

"I had a really good World Cup. I was a bit disappointed we couldn't get over Australia," he said.

"David Boon was probably the best wicket I had. He was as tough as nails. I remember he got a blow from Ambrose. A lesser man would have come off but he got on with it."

"You try to take all the experience you have and use that going into the next one. But you have to understand that the next one can be totally different and be prepared for that."

Cummins insists his hunger for the game remains the same, saying: "You have to have the passion otherwise you wouldn't be here. It wouldn't make sense."

Defeat by Kenya means Canada face the unlikely task of beating both England and New Zealand to progress from the first round, and Cummins is realistic about the challenge.

"Andy Pick has been really good about defining our game - what we need to do. Forget who's at the other end, whether we bowl or bat," he said.

"We know we're rank underdogs. We've got to hope that the gods are in our favour, that we are at the top of our game."



SEE ALSO
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BBC World Cup coverage
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