by Alan Flook
London | 28 Nov 2014
It would be fatuous of me to comment about Phil Hughes, the man who I never met – just watched in awe and admiration. I had every anticipation of seeing many more exhilarating innings from a batter who obviously just enjoyed his cricket.
His fellow Australian players have said enough – he was a great bloke. My feelings extend even beyond the bowler who delivered what turned out to be the fatal ball. Whatever spin anyone puts on it and whatever support the guy gets, it must impact on his approach to all aspects of his life from now on.
Two other guys will also have been seriously shaken both at the time and in the aftermath – the umpires. They can, in no way, shoulder any blame for what was a perfectly legitimate delivery. I wish them well and hope they get all the support they will undoubtedly need.
So far I have seen no knee jerk reaction with a call for the Laws of the game to be changed – long may that situation remain. You can be sure that the relevant MCC committee will have that at the top of their agenda.
The current Law is difficult enough for umpires to apply and requires a massive amount of both good judgement and common sense. I am waiting for the first journalist to show their lack of knowledge of the game by decrying the law makers for ‘allowing this to happen’.
A long spell of thought for the impact of this horrific event is essential before doing anything to change a sport which has so many elements – some with an inherent risk. I, for one, just want to treasure my few memories of a tremendously talented batsman and, assuming his mates are right, a good bloke. Thanks Phil.
About the Author:
Alan Flook retired from umpiring in 2012 after 23 years in the Middlesex County Cricket league and a few years on the County Second Eleven list. More recently he was an umpire tutor, preparing new umpires for their exams and is presently an assessor as part of the umpire grading process. He is the current Chairman of the Middlesex knockout cricket cup.
Australia and the rest of the cricketing world was in shock as Phil Hughes (25) died in a Sydney hospital from a "catastrophic" injury to his head, two days after being struck by a bouncer from Sean Abbott during a domestic first-class match at the SCG.
Australia team doctor Peter Brukner said he passed away in hospital, never regaining consciousness.
The left-handed opening batsman, who played 26 Tests, 25 one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international for his country, made his international debut at the age of 20 against South Africa in 2009.
Australian opener Phil Hughes remains in a critical condition and his family face an anxious wait following emergency surgery.
Hughes was in intensive care and on life support in a Sydney hospital on following emergency surgery after being hit in the head by a Sean Abbott bouncer at the SCG in the NSW-SA shield game.
Skipper Michael Clarke was found guilty by the ICC after he was heard on television telling England's James Anderson to get ready to have his arm broken.
The ICC slapped Clarke with a Level 1 code of conduct charge for "using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an international match".
1st Test, Gabba, Nov 2013
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