Clarke pays tribute to Hughes


Published: Sunday 30th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Australia captain Michael Clarke has paid a personal and heartfelt tribute to his “little brother” Phillip Hughes on what would have been his 26th birthday.

Hughes’ death on Thursday, two days after being hit in the neck by a ball in a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground, has stunned the cricketing world.

Close friend Clarke read out a statement on behalf of Hughes’ family shortly after his death was made known, while he made an emotional address to the media in Sydney on Saturday as a representative of the Australia team.

And on Sunday, he said in a moving column in the Australian Daily Telegraph: ” As I stood in the centre of the SCG on Thursday night, at the spot where my little brother played his last shot, I struggled to comprehend how this tragedy could happen to one of life’s true characters and gentlemen.

“His cricketing achievements – of which there were many – really play second fiddle to the human qualities that he exhibited.

“Loyal to a fault, eternally optimistic, kind hearted, wicked sense of humour, a child like verve for life … I really could go on and on.

“I don’t have a blood brother, but I am very proud to have called Phillip my brother. I am a better man for having known him.”

Clarke added that Hughes, who played 26 Tests and 25 one-day internationals for Australia, could have gone on to become one of the greats of the national team.

“At only 25 years of age he had 26 centuries to his name in first class cricket, and I have no doubt he would have made it 27 last Tuesday. What an amazing talent,” he said.

“I said a couple of months ago that I had no doubt Phillip would have gone on to play 100 Tests, such was his determination and skill.”

Clarke later said on Twitter: “Happy bday bro. Will love you forever. It has been the hardest few days of my life.

“You will stand with me every time I walk out onto that ground.”

Several Australian players plus the national team coach Darren Lehmann also used the social networking site to commemorate Hughes’ birthday.

Published: Sunday 30th November 2014 by The News Editor

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