It was the tragedy that made Cricket Australia change the way the players protect their heads. Today, we remember Phillip Hughes.
It’s November 25 2014. A Sheffield Shield Match is being played between South Australia and New South Wales. In freak accident, batsman Phillip Hughes is struck in the head by a New South Wales bowler. Despite the quick work to get the injured player to hospital, Hughes died two days later on the 27th November, just three days before his 26th birthday.
Hughes’ death sent shock waves across not just the Cricketing community, but Australia. At the time he was struck, Phillip was wearing a helmet, but part of his face was unprotected.
Sean Abbott, the bowler who struck Hughes was understandably shaken by what happened, but recieved condolences to comfort him. He was told it was not his fault. A day before Hughes was put to rest, Abbott returned to training.
Hughes’s death devastated everyone that knew him, including Michael Clarke, who was captain at the time and of whom was a good friend of the fallen cricketer. He was also friends with boxer, Anthony Mundine and fellow teammate David Warner.
Since this event, Cricket Australia has taken drastic measures to ensure another tragedy like this doesn’t happen again. After Hughes’s death, players were required to wear a neck brace whenever they played.
Steve Smith, a fellow batsman was allegedly reluctant to wear the neck protector because he felt like he was inside an MRI machine. However, he has since given the neck protectors his approval.
As a tribute to Hughes, a hashtag has been jumping around social media: #63NotOut. This was a nod to his innings the day he was struck.
The country is still mourning the loss of a great cricketer. We hope a tragedy like this never happens again.
Vale Phillip Hughes.