63 Not Out…

The cricket world has been in mourning this week with news of the tragic death of Phillip Hughes at the age of 25. It’s a few days on and I can still scarcely believe it – when I first heard I felt sick to my stomach and shed a tear or two. Of course this isn’t about me, my heart goes out to the family and friends of Hughes and the Australian cricket team. It’s just shockingly sad, going out onto a cricket field never to return.
There have been many eloquent things written about this tragedy this week from across the cricketing community. Here, and here are just two of them.
I find it very hard to find anything to say, words just feels inadequate.
So, three quick thoughts:
I saw Michael Clarke’s press statement this morning from Sydney. Just want to say what a courageous man and leader he is. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been. A heartfelt and incredibly moving tribute.
Through all of this I feel a great deal for Sean Abbott, the bowler whose bouncer struck Hughes. What he must be going through I couldn’t even begin to describe. My thoughts, not that they are worth much, are with him too.
And last, a comment on social media. Facebook and Twitter are much derided at times, and rightly so. The trolling and abuse of others that takes place on such platforms is cowardly and disgusting. But sometimes the online community can come together and begin something spontaneous, poignant and with quiet beauty. The #putoutyourbats idea was begun by a father from Sydney who made a small, personal gesture by tweeting a picture of his cricket bat leaning against a wall outside his house. ‘A way to connect and show our sadness’ was how he put it. Since then the gesture has gone viral, with players and teams following suit. Google Australia even did it on their home page. A small tribute, but one which sums up the depth of feeling for Hughes, his spirit and his life.
RIP Phillip Hughes, 63 not out forever. Gone but never forgotten.

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