I first saw Phillip Hughes in Sheffield Shield match here in Newcastle, when NSW played Victoria way back in 2009. I’d missed him play in South Africa and England due to the timezones. I watched him make a century in the first innings, and I thought to myself, “this guy can’t stay out of the national side for long.”
He was in and out of the side, and I’ve always thought he was a little bit hard done by. He never gave up, and being in and out of the side, he seemed to always remain right on the periphery of being back in the side. The one good thing to come out of Michael Clarke being ruled out of the first test was that, I hoped, we’d see Hughes back in the Baggy Green, hopefully to start to earn his place back into the side.
He was a player I very much thought he’d be a player who’d make 100 First-Class centuries, and play 100 tests. I even hoped he’d see him once again in Australia’s ODI team. That double-century put him in good stead for that, I thought at the time.
A few years ago I found out that someone I’d been friends with had passed away in a sporting accident. Even though it had been a few years since we’d talked, it still affected me greatly. But it was comforting, even at a young age, that he had gone out doing something he loved. I hope those close to Phil Hughes can find comfort in that, too.
I also just want to quickly reiterate that I really feel for Sean Abbott. Abbott and Hughes pretty much came through the NSW ranks at the same time, and obviously he is going to live with this for the rest of his career, and the rest of his life.
R.I.P. Phillip Hughes
Statistics from espncricinfo