Phillip Joel Hughes 1988-2014

I am in total shock. I woke up today, switched on Sky Sports News and found out that the Australian Test batsman Phil Hughes had died aged just 25. He had been struck on the head by a ball from New South Wales fast bowler Sean Abbott during a Sheffield Shield match. He was taken to hospital where his condition was critical but I always thought – and believed – he would survive. Cricket has dodged so many bullets before – notably in 1975 when New Zealander Ewen Chatfield’s heart stopped beating for several seconds before he was saved by England’s physio Bernard Thomas – or earlier this month when Pakistan batsman Ahmed Shehzad fractured his skull during a Test and was released from hospital two days later – but this time tragedy could not be avoided.
I would just like to use this platform to state my sympathy with Phil Hughes’ family, his South Australian team-mates, his Australian team-mates and indeed all cricket players and fans. We are all sad, we are all hurting. Indeed everybody should be cricket fan or not. Whatever the talent a young person has, to see one with great talent as Hughes had, have it snuffed out before it had a chance to fulfil its potential is just so cruel. I’d also like to spare a thought for 22-year-old Abbott, who bowled the fateful delivery. No one blames him, but I bet he blames himself. I know I would if I were him. I hope he has the courage to carry on with his cricket career. I’m sure Phil Hughes would want him to.
I would just also like to say I will never forget Hughes’ two hundreds in one Test against South Africa in 2009, or his (then) world record last-wicket stand of 163 with Ashton Agar in the first innings of last years’ first Ashes Test. I can’t believe I’ll never see him bat again. He was a great entertainer – and everybody who knew him said he was a very nice man too.
RIP Phil Hughes and thanks.


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