Why am I writing about Phil Hughes on the Soaring Silver Tails Fan page?
Because apart from NRL, my other true passion my whole life is Test Cricket. I feel that this tragic incident that has occurred and taken a young man’s life deserves a mention here. It has rocked not just his family and friends, but the whole Cricket community in the World, and plenty of Sports fans and people in general.
I played Cricket for 20 years and have watched it for over 30, and yes I saw people get hit in the head. All the time. I myself got hit in the eye by a bouncer and was taken to hospital. But I have never seen a freakish incident like this either playing the game or on TV. I have never read any story of it happening.
It’s as freakish as say Adam Scott getting killed by a wayward tee shot playing on the USPGA tour.
Phil Hughes was an unorthodox cricketer, as most of us know. He looked ungainly and uncomfortable at times at the crease. But he had an eye like a dead fish. Some of the shots he played, particularly square of the wicket were hard to believe. This made him very hard to bowl to. A decent ball that would normally clip the off bail and get blocked or take you a wicket, could go searing through cover point for 4 when he was batting.
He had great success early in his career playing for NSW, and was fast tracked into the Test side when Matthew Hayden retired. Whilst I always had my doubts about his technique at this level, I always rooted for him to make runs, and he was entertaining to watch. Those twin centuries he scored in South Africa were phenomenal. You could see the bowler’s confusion about where to bowl to this guy.
Like many Test Players who get thrust in at a young age, he found himself to be not quite ready. Technically or mentally. Probably both. But he went away, worked on his game, and made runs. He fought his way back into the side. He got dropped again. He went away and made runs. He got back into the side. I think he was dropped 4 times in the end, and was on the cusp of yet another comeback to play the first Test week.
All this from a guy who was only 25. But you never heard a bad thing about him. Never a complaint, never in trouble, never on social media bringing the game into disrepute or going to night clubs where professional sportspeople can be targets.
Thinking about some of the great Aussie Test players over the years who were thrust in before they were ready, only to come back later and forge great careers. Names like Hayden, Langer and Martyn. Even Steve Waugh. Some of these guys had to wait till they are 30. Test cricket is a mental game as much as anything, and often players don’t fully mature until they are around 30.
Phil Hughes could easily have been in this category. We may have been talking about him in 20 years saying, remember that great player Hughes who averaged 45 or 50 in Test Cricket, scoring 20 centuries in the baggy green? Can you believe he was dropped 4 times early in his career?
We will never know…
Rest in Peace Phil Hughes... Forever Test Player 408 and 63 Not Out... You will always be remembered