Week 48: Hero – Phillip Hughes

by Ray_North on November 30, 2014

Oz_HeroThis week’s Hero of the Week is the tragic Australian cricket batsman Phillip Hughes.

The South Australia batter looked pretty well set – 63 not out, he was just going through that phase when a batsman knows he’s got the bowling licked and can start to swing his bat. It is the period in an innings when a good batsman goes quickly from fifty odd to eight odd and on into the nervous nineties.
And, Phillip Hughes was a good batsman – a Test cricketer at the age of 20 who had scored his maiden test century in his second test match.

Although in the last couple of years, Hughes had struggled a bit, it appeared that, at 25 years of age, his form and his timing had returned and he was set to be recalled to the Australian team for the series against India.

Then disaster struck. Shaun Abbbot the New South Wales quick bowler, ran in, just as he had been doing all day, and pinged in a bouncer. For whatever reason, although the delivery rose, it was, whether by design or not, a fraction slower than the balls that Abbot had been playing – Hughes, tried to hook it, and why not, he was in good nick, he had successfully anticipated Abbot’s bouncer and had the feet and technique to despatch it to the boundary. Sadly, tragically, devastatingly, because the delivery was a bit slower, Hughes appeared to mistime it and instead of the little purple leather-bound sphere making its way to the boundary; instead of the crowd rising to hail a great and exciting shot, the ball clunked into Hughes around his helmet actually making contact with his neck.

No one expected much more to happen. Indeed the NSW fielders immediate reaction was to congratulate their bowler on a cunning change of pace.

But, seconds later, Hughes, after staggering, fell into the ground.

He would never recover and died two days later.

We like our cricket on these pages. We like the contest between batsman and bowler. We like the history of cricket, we like the tradition and the characters and guts that it takes to stand at the crease as someone throws an object at you can that will hurt (usually no more than that), if you don’t get it right. We admire those who are able to bat for hours and hours never allowing themselves to be distracted, because distraction will lead to your stumps being obliterated.

Phillip Hughes was a sportsman, the son of a farmer who grew up playing the game he loved and had a talent for. We admire the fact that he worked hard to hone his talent and then bought joy to thousands of cricket fans and Australians with his batting. Because that is what sport should be, enjoyment, the liberation of talent, the joy of the contest.

We laud those who are able to do this and we salute the brave and tragic Phillip Hughes.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Eddie Kaye November 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

Tragic. As dark a day for cricket, and indeed sport as I can remember.

RIP Phillip Hughes

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Mike Killingworth December 1, 2014 at 8:42 am

A tragic accident, yes – but not a dark day for cricket (let alone sport) – this was a genuine freak accident – a dark day would surely refer to something like the soccer World Cup corruption scandals.

Let’s not forget Sean Abbott and his family, either. Hopefully he will be able to play again in due course.

Reply

Ray_North December 1, 2014 at 9:37 am

I agree mike – sad day for cricket, and yes, let’s hope that Shaun a abbot is able to recover – have to say though , I’m not sure I could.

Reply

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