The injury that left Australian batsman Phillip Hughes in a critical condition in hospital was a “rare” event but a reminder that cricket has always been a dangerous sport, West Indies batting great Brian Lara said recently while the cricketer was still in hospital…
Australian batsman Phillip Hughes took a blow on the head from a short delivery while batting for South Australia against New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The 25-year-old underwent emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain at a Sydney hospital. His demise has shocked and saddened the cricketing world.
Lara, who was playing in the pro-am before the Australian Open golf tournament, said before considering any wider implications for the game, his first thoughts had to be for Hughes. “It’s very unfortunate, batsmen face all sorts of dangers, we can just pray for him,” he told reporters after his round at the Australian Golf Club.
“I think it’s a sport and you are always going to have that element of risk. This is an unfortunate and rare situation. I felt safe playing but there was that element of risk, I used to say a little prayer in the morning and just hope for the best.”
Lara recalled being hit on the head a couple of times during his career by quickies Shoaib Akhtar and Glenn McGrath but said batsmen accepted that facing hostile pace bowling was “part of the game”. “I think they’ve done their best over the years to curb it and manage it as best as possible,” he added. “But it’s part of a fast bowlers armoury and it’s very hard to take that totally away from them. There are some batsmen who feed on that sort of attack and I don’t really believe it’s anything that should effect fast bowlers and the rules governing that.”
In that hope, he was given solace by the experience of his former West Indies team mate Phil Simmons, who was struck by a short ball during a tour match against Gloucestershire in 1988. “I think he didn’t have a helmet and it was a similar thing, he had brain surgery,” he recalled. “But he was back on the cricket field 12 months later. It was a devastating situation back then.”
Cricketing World Heartbroken At Hughes’ Death
Condolence tweets poured in for Phillip Hughes. The Australian cricketing circle took to twitter to express their shock and sadness on Hughes’ death. There were condolence messages from cricketers of other countries as well on Hughes demise.
@BoredCricket: So long, Phil Hughes, see you in cricket heaven, where matches aren’t fixed and you don’t stop playing.
What happened has touched millions of Australians: Australian PM Tony Abbott’s message on cricketer Phillip Hughes death.
“Phillip Hughes was a young man living out his dreams.
His death is a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family.
What happened has touched millions of Australians.
For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration.
He was loved, admired and respected by his teammates and by his legions of cricket fans.
Australians’ thoughts and prayers are with the Hughes family.”
“RIP you little champ, we are all going to miss you ! Love, prayers to all the Hughes family xxxx,” Australia coach Darren Lehnman wrote.
“No no no no no. RIP Phillip Hughes,” was how former captain and wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist reacted on hearing the news.
Australia pace great Glenn McGrath and former opener Matthew Hayden also expressed their sympathies for the bereaved cricketer’s family. “Such terrible news with the passing of Phil Hughes. Our deepest sympathies to his family,” McGrath wrote.
“Rest peacefully our little brother…may God hold you in the palm of his hand forever. Deepest sympathies to the Hughes Family and friends,” Hayden tweeted.
Tendulkar: Shocked to hear about Phil, sad day for cricket : Sachin Tendulkar condoles Phillip Hughes death: Shocked to hear about Phil. Sad day for cricket. Deepest condolences to family, friends and well wishers. RIP #PhilipHughes
“May you RIP Hughesey. Words cannot explain one’s feelings right now. Prayers are with his family, friends and Teammates.. #RIPPhilHughes,” South African all-rounder J P Duminy wrote on twitter handle.
Former Protea skipper Graeme Smith and current captain AB de Villiers too were shaken by the news. “Totally , totally sick inside and have no words.thinking and praying for friends and family. #RIPPhilHughes,” Smith tweeted.