What a desperately sad, awful, tragic day. There were more than a few glassy eyes in my office when the horrible news came through that cricketer Phil Hughes had died. The Australian batsman was struck in the head by a ball earlier in the week and despite a collective crossing of the fingers from everyone, his life support was turned off this afternoon.
25 years seems like barely enough for someone who was so loved by those who knew him and liked by so many who watched him from afar.
Hopefully the immense outpouring of love and support from not just Australians but cricket fans worldwide will go a long way towards helping his family, friends and team mates through this incredibly difficult time. I also hope that the media give those who knew and loved Phil the space to grieve privately.
There were many, many beautiful messages posted and pieces published this afternoon about the much loved test player – this is my brother‘s, which sums it up beautifully.
“Sometimes in your life, you hear of something happening – something tragic. It reels you, it knocks the wind out of you. You take a deep breath and think to yourself that what you’ve just heard couldn’t be real – that it just couldn’t happen. It numbs you and renders you senseless, upon the realisation that it is in fact reality.
Today was one of those days.
I never knew Phillip Hughes the person – but I admired and respected him as an athlete and a role model – as someone who made cricket a better sport.
Digesting this tragedy as a die-hard cricket fan is difficult enough – but I can’t comprehend what Phillip’s family, team mates, friends and supporters must be going through.
Spare a thought, too, for Sean Abbott.
Thanks for so many wonderful cricketing memories, Phillip – to watch you bat was just amazing. What a shame that those memories have been cut so tragically short.
Rest in Peace.”