Team-mates lead tributes to Hughes


Published: Thursday 27th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Phillip Hughes’ Australia team-mates led the emotional tributes to the batsman following his death at the age of 25.

Hughes died on Thursday, two days after being struck on the head by a bouncer while batting for South Australia against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

An ashen-faced Australia captain Michael Clarke said in a statement on behalf of the Hughes family: “We’re devastated by the loss of our much-loved son and brother Phillip. Cricket was Phillip’s life, and we as a family shared that love of the game with him. We love you.”

Clarke was one of a number of players who rushed to visit Hughes at St Vincent’s Hospital where he was being treated, with the likes of David Warner pictured in tears as he left the hospital.

Australia batsman Steve Smith said on Twitter: “Rest in peace Hughesy. I am really going to miss you. You were 1 of the great blokes and I will never forget you. #408 will live on forever.”

Hughes was the 408th man to play Test cricket for Australia.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann tweeted: ” RIP you little champ, we are all going to miss you!”

Jason Gillespie, the Yorkshire coach and former Australia fast bowler, said on Twitter he was “shaking” at the news.

Australia great Shane Warne described the news of Hughes’ death as “shocking”, “horrific and very, very sad”.

He added on Sky Sports News: “It’s a sad situation that a great young man who had the world at his feet is no longer with us.

“We all love the entertainment sport gives us so to see something like this…it is something that should never happen.

“I worked closely with the Australia team in March and saw how hard he worked. He loved the game and was very passionate.

“He was a really good man, he was one of the good guys.”

The ball which struck Hughes was bowled by Sean Abbott and Warne offered his support to the bowler too.

“It’s important for friends and the cricket community to get round Sean Abbott too. I’m sure he’ll be distraught but it’s not his fault. Hopefully he’ll be okay and can bounce back,” he said.

Adam Gilchrist, the former Australia wicketkeeper, said on Twitter: ” No no no no no. RIP Phillip Hughes.

“For eternity the spirit of Cap No. 408 #RIPPhilHughes.

“May those footprints in the sand now support another young man in need. #SeanAbbott.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Hughes’ death as “a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family”.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: “It was Phillip as a person we will miss most .. he was humble, understated and hard working. He set a wonderful example”.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said on Twitter: ” Just far too young…He was only doing the job he loved…and was brilliant at it… #RIPHughes.”

The England team paid tribute to Hughes, saying in a statement: “Our deepest sympathies go out to Phil Hughes’ family, friends and team-mates at this incredibly sad time.

“Phil was admired and respected by all he played with and against, and will never be forgotten by the cricket community.”

Giles Clarke, the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman, added: ” He was an extremely popular and hugely respected cricketer in England and Wales not only as a successful tourist with various Australian teams but also as a wonderfully talented county player with Hampshire, Middlesex and Worcestershire.

“He will be missed throughout the world of cricket and today our thoughts are with his family and all those involved in Australian cricket.”

The second day of the Test between New Zealand and Pakistan in Sharjah was suspended as a mark of respect for Hughes.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said in a statement: “It’s an unthinkable loss and I can tell you it’s an incredibly sombre dressing room right now.”

Tony Irish, the executive chairman of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA), said: “Phil was a popular and respected cricketer not only in Australia and amongst Australian players, but also amongst other players around the world.

“I speak on behalf of the world’s professional cricketers in saying what a tragic loss this is of a young man who would have had many years of international cricket ahead of him.”

Published: Thursday 27th November 2014 by The News Editor

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