Hughes 63 Not Out
“I promise I will never take anything for granted from this day forward, and take any opportunity that comes my way... I have realized that life isn’t forever”- Megan (Phillip Hughes’ sister) The whole cricketing world is mourning the loss of an extremely talented young cricketer who loved cricket with all his heart. The same love for cricket led to this tragic incident which is popularly coined as a ‘freak incident’. Phillip Hughes was only 25 and had a long and bright future ahead of him. He came smashing into the cricketing world with two back to back centuries against the fierce Proteas in their home turf in his debut series. Australia won that series by 2-1. After the first series, he was considered ‘the next big thing’ in the Australian cricket. He cemented his place on the Kangaroos’ side for quite a period of time before he was the victim of bad form and weakness. Bouncer was his greatest weakness which was exposed against the English team in the Ashes Summer of 2011. The same bouncer led to his tragic death in 27th November, 4 days from his accident. He was declared to be in an induced coma and his recovery seemed pretty difficult. He was struck by the ball in the head by the bouncer bowled by Sean Abbot in the Sheffield Shield, which is a first class Australian domestic tournament. He was batting in 63 before the accident occurred. The world is mourning and paying tributes by the name of ‘63 not out’ saying he will forever live in their hearts. Players from school cricket in Australia, who usually have to retire at 50 runs not out, are now made mandatory to retire only after 63 runs. This is also a large tribute paid to the young cricketer. Phillip Hughes was not only a talented cricketer, but also a great human being. He owned his own cattle farm. Everytime he scored century he would add a cow to his farm. He was shy but happy and strong. He was responsible. Even on the bad run of form, he would never get tensed. Selectors would give him tough time during his bad run, but he would always listen to them, smile and silently learn and improve. He always said to his team mates, “Boys, where would you rather be than playing cricket for your country?” It clearly portrays his selfless love towards the game and his nation. He was an uncomplicated and a team player. His funeral was held in Macksville on 3rd December, 2014 where family, friends, teammates, former cricketers, dignitaries and public gathered to mourn. The funeral was broadcast live on Australian television and radio. It was also shown at the SCG, Adelaide Oval, WACA and Bellerive Oval, where other mourners were invited. Tributes glided from all over the world, from celebrities to footballers, from the little girl in Karachi holding a candlelight tribute to the masters of the game like Tendulkar, Warne, and Lara expressing their sorrow to the world. People all over the world are taking their bats out and posting the picture of it on social networking sites as a tribute to the cheeky grin cricketer. Eulogies were delivered by Hughes’ brother Jason, his sister Megan, and his cousin Nino Ramunno. Tributes also came from his family friend and fellow, Angus breeder Corey Ireland, who had helped him set up his farm, and Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, and Clarke. Clarke was struggling to keep his composure and constantly sobbing while the eulogies were being delivered. Clarke joked, “He would definitely be calling me a sook right now, that’s for sure.” Brisbane test match between Australia and India which was to be held on 5th December is postponed to 9th of December following tragic incident of Hughes. The Australian camp has shook after the incident and is not in right state of mind to play the test match 2 days from the funeral. This kind of ‘freak incident’ doesn’t occur frequently but this incident has definitely united the cricketers and fans from all over the world. He has given a huge lesson to the world. A ball worth 160 gm can take our precious life. Life is too short for a single day to be taken for granted. Question has been raised on safety helmets. New and improved helmets are in the process of being made by cricket tools and technology developers. His life has inspired many people and made cricketers aware about the consequences of the game. He will always be remembered and honored. Rest in Peace Hughes. Cricket will never be the same without you.