Australia pay tribute to Hughes

Published: Tuesday 9th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Australia paid tribute to Phillip Hughes prior to the start of the first Test against India in Adelaide on Tuesday morning.

Hughes was named as the ’13th man’ for the match, Australia’s first since his death. Hughes, who was 25, was struck on the neck by a bouncer from Sean Abbott in a Sheffield Shield match on November 25, and died in hospital two days later.

Prior to the start of the Test, the two teams stood before a large ‘408’ painted on the playing surface and watched a video tribute to Hughes narrated by former Australia Test captain Richie Benaud.

Players, fans and officials then applauded for 63 seconds – marking the fact Hughes was unbeaten on 63 at the time he suffered the fatal blow.

Australia won the toss and chose to bat first, and captain Michael Clarke – a close friend of Hughes who delivered a touching tribute at his funeral last week – sounded in bright spirits before the tribute.

Asked about the decision to name Hughes as the 13th man, he said: “We do have a 13th man and I think we will have one, certainly for the rest of our careers. Phillip Hughes is our 13th man today and he will be with us the whole way.

“We’re ready to go. The boys are excited. I think everybody – the players, the public, the media – are ready to get out and start cricket.

“I think it’s going to take a long time to get over it, but I think what’s most important, what I know my little buddy would like us doing is getting out here and playing some good cricket.”

Virat Kohli, captaining India for the first time, added: “It’s been a sad time but this is the only thing that can heal it.”

Recalling his own memories of Hughes, he added: “He was one of the guys I spoke to more than anyone. Surprisingly, or coincidentally, he asked me for my bat in Jaipur in the last home series we played, the one-day series, and I wish I’d given it to him.

“He was a lovely chap, very cheerful. I knew him well.”

The Australia players wore black armbands and Hughes’ Test cap number 408 was printed on their shirts.

The Test match was originally due to start last Thursday, but was delayed with Hughes’ funeral taking place on Wednesday.

As the Test was getting under way, New South Wales were back in action against Queensland at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with Abbott, 22, named in their team.

Published: Tuesday 9th December 2014 by The News Editor

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