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Cricket | More Cricket

Phil Hughes © Gallo Images

Australia's maverick batsman Phil Hughes



Phil Hughes, who died on Thursday aged 25, will forever be remembered as one of Australian cricket's free spirits.

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#putoutyourbats

A pugnacious left-hander brimming with self-confidence, his life was tragically cut short when he was hit on the head by a ball and never regained consciousness.

The violent manner of his death has shaken the cricket community, and the world of sport, to its core.

Hughes had been in an out of the Australian national team for the past five years but had been pushing for re-selection. As a batsman he had his flaws, but those imperfections seemed to make him even more popular.

When he was struck down on Tuesday, batting for South Australia against New South Wales, he was 63 not out and seemingly on track for a place in the national team to play India next week.

NEVER CHANGED AS A PERSON

The Australian public loved his fighting spirit and boisterous nature, a kid from the bush who made it to the top but never changed as a person.

Hughes made 26 test and 25 one-day international appearances for Australia, but at just 25 there seemed plenty of time to make more as he battled to overcome his weaknesses.

His ability to score runs has never been questioned but his unorthodox batting technique, especially against short-pitched bowling, was an issue.

Hughes took the cricketing world by storm when he made his test debut in 2009, scoring a mountain of runs despite often looking uncomfortable at the crease, stepping away from short-pitched deliveries and slashing the ball over backward point.

Phil Hughes
- Life in cricket - in Pics

Like many Australian cricketers, Hughes was raised in rural New South Wales. The Australian bush can be a harsh and often remote environment with limited opportunities for children, but is one that has produced a long line of tough, single-minded players.

Hughes grew up on a banana plantation in Macksville, a town of 3 000 in the state's subtropical north, halfway between Sydney and the Queensland capital Brisbane.

He honed his skills through hours of monotonous practice.

During the day, he would relentlessly hit balls in his backyard. At night, he would perfect his unique strokeplay by playing shots in front of a full-length mirror.

By the age of 12 he had run out of junior players to challenge him so was forced to play against adults, who gave him his first real test of courage with a barrage of bouncers.

He made his first-class debut at 18 and finished the season by becoming the youngest player to score a century in the final of Australia's domestic Sheffield Shield competition.

RISE AND FALL

It was not just his timing at the crease that was perfect.

A vacancy suddenly opened up in the Australian team after Matt Hayden retired and Hughes was waiting in the wings to earn a place in the test side for the tour of South Africa in 2009.

Riddled with nerves, he was dismissed for a fourth-ball duck after an ugly swipe in his first test innings, but he quickly rebounded and showed he was made of sterner stuff.

Short for an opener, he made an assured 75 in the second innings then scored hundreds in each innings of his second test, becoming the youngest man to achieve the feat at test level.

But his meteoric rise was matched by his sudden fall.

He was dropped from the team during the Ashes series that same year and although he made it back several times since, he has never managed to cement his spot in the team, despite his widespread popularity.

From his 26 tests, he scored 1 535 runs at an average of 32.65, with three centuries. He has also scored two ODI hundreds.

Those statistics mean little right now. The cricket world is in mourning for a young man whose loss will be felt for years.


FACTBOX

Born: November 30 1988 in Macksville, New South Wales

* Grew up on a banana farm before moving to Sydney. Made his first-class debut for NSW in 2007 at 18 and became the youngest to score a century in the Sheffield Shield.

* Made his test debut for Australia against South Africa in February 2009, scoring back-to-back centuries in his second match in Durban against the feared fast bowling of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

* His unorthodox technique was exposed by England's fast bowling attack in the 2009 Ashes series and he was dropped for the third test and thereafter struggled to hold down a regular starting place.

* Featured in tests against Pakistan and New Zealand in early 2010 before being recalled for the following Ashes series as an injury replacement for Simon Katich but again struggled against the English bowling attack, scoring 97 runs in three tests.

* Retained his spot in the Australian touring party for Sri Lanka and South Africa in 2011, but was dropped during the home series against New Zealand during the Australian 2011-12 summer after criticism of his playing style.

* Went to England in 2012 and played county cricket with Worcestershire, and then had a strong start to theSheffield Shield season and was rewarded with a spot in the test squad for Sri Lanka's tour of Australia in 2012-13.

* Scored 112 against Sri Lanka to become the first Australian batsman to score a century on his one-day international debut, helping him retain a spot in the team for the tours of India and England later in 2013

* Made his last Australian test appearance in the 2013 second Ashes test, in which he made one in both innings

* He was felled by a bouncer playing for South Australia against NSW in a Sheffield Shield match on Tuesday at the SCG while on 63, as he pushed for a recall for the first test against India in Brisbane next week.

* Taken to hospital where he is placed in an induced coma because of the blow to the neck, which split an artery and caused a massive bleed to the brain.

* Does not regain consciousness and dies at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney on November 27 aged 25.


STATISTICS

Batting and fielding averages

Mat Inns NO Runs HS Avg BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 26
49 2
1535 160 32.65
2866
53.55 3
7
199 11
15
0
ODIs 25
24 1
826 138*
35.91 1100
75.09
2
4 91 5
5 0
T20Is 1
1 0
6 6 6.00
8
75.00 0
0
1 0
0
0
First-class 114 209 15 9023 243*
46.51 15798  57.11  26
46 1229  46  72
0
List A 91
89 12
3639
202* 47.25
4671  77.90  8 23
364  35 30 0
Twenty20 34 34 8 1110 87*
42.69
947 117.21
0
10 112
16 16 0
Bowling averages

Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Avg Econ SR 4w 5w 10






Tests 26 - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs 25 - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20Is 1 - - - - - - - - - - - -
First-class 114 3 24 14 0 - - - 3.50 - 0 0 0
List A 91 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Twenty20 34 - - - - - - - - - - - -


COLUMNS


ARTICLES


VIDEOS

'I'll see you out in the middle' - Michael Clarke's eulogy

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Phil Hughes laid to rest

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'Rest in peace bruzzy' - Michael Clarke's birthday tribute

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Phil Hughes Tribute

This video is not available in your region

Phil Hughes passes away

This video is not available in your region


EULOGIES & TRIBUTES

Selected quotes from eulogies and tributes to Phillip Hughes on Wednesday as Australia bid farewell to the cricketer at his funeral in his hometown of Macksville, New South Wales.

MICHAEL CLARKE (Australia test and one-day international cricket captain, team mate of Hughes; in eulogy speech):
"I don't know about you, but I keep looking for him. I know it is crazy but I expect any minute to take a call from him or to see his face pop around the corner. Is this what we call the spirit? If so, then his spirit is still with me. And I hope it never leaves."

JASON HUGHES (Older brother; in eulogy speech):
"I couldn't have asked for a better little brother. From a very young age, you were destined to be a rock star. You moved to Sydney at the age of 17 with 70 centuries already to your name, with your home-grown technique.
"All I ever wanted was for you to look up to me as your big brother. I still can't believe that I'm here saying my final goodbyes."

SACHIN TENDULKAR (Former India batsman; on Twitter):
"Will miss you Phil. Your enthusiasm to learn and drive for perfection was most impressive."

MEGAN HUGHES (Younger sister; in eulogy speech):
"I promise you Phil that I will continue to live life each and every day, the way you did. From morning to night, your beautiful smile always came out. Even if your life wasn't going to plan. You never took anything for granted and always knew how lucky and blessed you were from everything that came your way."

JAMES SUTHERLAND (Cricket Australia, CEO; in eulogy speech)
"Quite simply, the boy from this proud community of Macksville, personified the spirit of Australian cricket. Ever since Bradman, the image of the innocent country boy playing in the back yard, while dreaming of wearing a baggy green cap, has become entrenched in our psyche. It's our foundation myth as a cricketing nation. And Phillip loved that dream."

INDIA PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI (on Twitter):
"Heart-rending funeral in Australia. Phil Hughes, we will miss you. Your game & exuberance won you fans all over! RIP."

RICHARD HADLEE (former New Zealand cricket all-rounder):
"We are a cricketing family ... You try to play within the spirit of the game but when you lose one of your fellow players, it's important that we acknowledge the contribution of that player, in this case, Phillip Hughes. It's all very sad but we wish him a safe trip further up."

MARK TAYLOR (former Australia captain, TV pundit):
"I didn't know him anywhere near as well as some of the players he played with but I think he's had an impact on all of us who follow the game of cricket.
"We're a competitive lot, we like to win. But we also don't like to see situations like we've seen over the last week and that really brings us together."

AUSTRALIA PRIME MINISTER TONY ABBOTT (On Twitter):
"A sad, poignant, beautiful service to celebrate the life of Phillip Hughes today in Macksville #RIPPhillipHughes."


SOCIAL MEDIA REACTIONS & TRIBUTES


#PUTOUTYOURBATS

 



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