I have typed and re-typed this post. I don’t know how to start. I don’t know how to continue. I keep tearing up at regular intervals.
I didn’t know Phillip Hughes personally. But as a cricket-lover, I knew him. I watched on TV like the rest of us cricket-lovers when he made his debut as a 20 year old and slammed two consecutive centuries in that series. I watched him make a century later on his one-day debut. And like most of us, on Tuesday this week, I saw him collapse face-first after being hit by a delivery on his neck in a freak accident.
An accident that ended his life.
While I never knew Phil Hughes the man, he was undoubtedly loved by his friends and other cricketers. Never before have I seen such outpouring of support, grief and tears. His team mates have been around the whole time he was in hospital. People like me had been checking the news online for any updates every hour. And then finally, late Thursday afternoon, the news we all dreaded came through. An entire nation — cricket-lovers and non-cricket-lovers — have all been left stunned.
My heart goes out to his family and his friends. My heart also goes out to Sean Abbott. The bowler who bowled that delivery. It’s not his fault by any means and I’m sure if Hughes could have spoken, he’d reassure Sean of the same. It was an accident. A horrible one. A rare one.
One that has seen one life lost and possibly, another halted.
I love the game of cricket. But sometimes, it can be cruel. It has possibly traumatised one young player. And taken the life of another. Unfortunately, the game has lost a player who had the potential to make it as one of the greats.
Phil Hughes, yours was a life tragically cut short. We didn’t get to see the genius you were. We didn’t get to see you possibly captain Australia one day. But what about you? Did you have dreams? Dreams to captain Australia? Dreams to get married perhaps? Or have children? Dreams to spend Christmases and birthdays with your family and your friends?
It’s a reminder how short life can be. How a sport we enjoy can be dangerous. How quickly a life can be taken away.
And all we are left with is a question: Why?
Rest in peace Hughesy. You were a fighter, a terrific one.
Until next time,