Thursday 27 November 2014 will be remembered for being a tragic day in cricket. It is a day one of Australia’s most promising young players Phil Hughes passed away.
“The word tragedy gets used far too often in sport but this freak accident is now a real-life tragedy. Just shy of his 26th birthday, Phillip has been taken from us far too young,” said Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland.
Hughes was tragically struck in the head by a bouncer on Tuesday while batting for South Australia against NSW in a domestic Shield match at the SCG.
Soon after he was dealt a blow to his head, Hughes collapsed to the ground losing consciousness. He was immediately rushed to St. Vincents hospital and remained in a critical condition in an induced coma before passing away this afternoon.
The public support for Hughesy has been enormous with messages, prayers and well-wishers dominating the air waves and social media.
James Sutherland echoed the views of the cricketing community and paid tribute to Hughes, “As a cricketer, Phillip was incredibly talented and a dearly loved member of the Australian, South Australian and Adelaide Strikers squads and a former NSW representative. He also played county cricket in England and IPL in India. Without doubt he was a rising star whose best cricket was still ahead of him”.
Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli expressed their sadness through Facebook. “Shocked to hear about Phil. Sad day for cricket. Deepest condolences to family, friends and well-wishers. RIP,” posted Tendulkar on his Facebook page, while Kohli termed it as a “horrible day for cricket”.
Hughes drew immediate respect and admiration from the public and his opponents alike for his steely resolve and hard work ethic. “I’ll always remember you as a gutsy and pugnacious young cricketer who has always worked hard to earn his place in the Australian team. Cricket will be poorer with this loss,” said Nuwan Ranasinghe, an engineering student and passionate cricket fan.
Phil Hughes epitomised the Australian “can do” attitude and was a born-fighter. He was described by his peers as a “gutsy” cricketer who was always ready for a scrap. Sadly, his best years of cricket were ahead of him. “It was Phillip as a person that we will miss most. He set a wonderful example to any young person seeking to make their way in life,” said Sutherland.
Few can forget that in only his second test match, as a 20-year-old, he became the youngest cricketer to score back-to-back centuries against South Africa in 2009. Then in 2013, he became the first Australian batsman to score a century on ODI debut against Sri Lanka.
He was in contention to replace the injured Michael Clarke for the 1st test against India next week and was batting beautifully on 63 in the Shield before being brought down by a bouncer. “He’s a helluva good batsman. He is a very very good young player who has got 26 first class hundreds,” reflected Rod Marsh the National Selector.
Victorian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, who played against Hughes only last week struggled to come to grips with the loss, “I still can’t believe you left us brother… I wish I could have spent more time with you last week after the game. We will remember you forever you little legend.”
“Cricket has been a personal source of enduring happiness till today…it’s cricket’s darkest day,” were the words of Sam Almaliki, Cricket Australia’s Senior Manager for Community Engagement.
The thoughts and prayers of over a billion cricket fans all across the world are with Phil Hughes and his family.
And just like the scorecard read at the SCG on Tuesday, Phil Hughes may be gone today, but in our minds he will forever remain not out.
Navneet Ganesh is the founder of Infinity Cricket and is passionate about the sport and its development. He founded Infinity Cricket in 2010 with a vision of ‘Connecting people through Cricket’. Infinity Cricket organises Australia’s premier ‘open’ T20 cricket events at the grassroots level and has a presence in two cities: Melbourne and Brisbane.
Published in The Indian Sun