As you all know by now I write about other events and happenings as well as books and this week I feel I have to post about this shocking event, the death of Phil Hughes, the Australian Test Cricketer, at the age of 25.
I saw him play a few times when watching TV but I do not know him personally, obviously, just that he is an Australian cricketer and yet when I heard of his accident and then his death I found myself very upset. Why? I have been pondering on this and on reading the comments left below the line on articles online I have come to realise why. Apart from the usual trolls and moaners there have been some really heartfelt tributes and one hit the nail on the head when the poster said that many Test and Country cricketers play with amateurs in Shield matches and games so that the cricketing fraternity get to know players more. Highly unlikely in a sport such as rugby or football.
There was one occasion when Piers Morgan, whatever you may think of him a huge cricket fan and player, turned up to his village cricket team with an extra man to go out with them who turned out to be Kevin Pietersen. Everyone had a great time, chance to meet him and watch him play and have a cucumber sarnie with KP afterwards. This kind of thing happens quite often in the cricket world.
So I think for those of us who love cricket a death like this knocks you sideways
But one thing I have found heartening. Sean Abbott, the 22 year old bowler who send down the bouncer that hit Phil Hughes, has received nothing but support from everyone. I am sure there are ghastly Twitter trolls out there who will have a go, but as yet none seem to have emerged. His team mates have rallied round, at the hospital the Hughes family insisted he sit with them, and he is being given all the help possible.
But how do you recover from something like this? He will be forever known as The Man who bowled That Ball. While everyone will be sympathetic towards him he knows that everywhere he goes he will be watched and whispered about. If he is in the pub having a pint with his mates and laughing and joking you can bet some idiot will make a comment and so on and so on. Yes Phil Hughes has lost his life and we mourn the tragedy but Abbott has to get on with his and I am not sure he will ever recover or ever play cricket again.
This cartoon appeared in an Australian paper and has gone global. If Abbott does manage to get on with his cricketing/daily life than we should be grateful that there are good understanding people in the world.
There have been people who have derided the outpouring of tributes that follow a death like this and say that he cannot have been such a saint as made out but it is worth remembering that in the Aussie dressing room where there have been fights and spats over the last few years, Shane Watson, Mike Clarke, Ricky Ponting - Phil Hughes was liked by them all.....