Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Death of Phillip Hughes

On 25/11/2014 Phillip Joel Hughes was felled by a bouncer bowled by Sean Abbott. He was playing for South Australia against New South Wales in Sheffield Shield at Sydney Cricket Ground and was 63 not out. It was 2.23 p.m. local time. The ball hit him behind the ear where there was no protection from helmet. He was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. He did not recover and died on 27/11/2014. He would have been 26 on 30/11/2014.
Many players have been hit by bouncers. Some were out of action for some time. In 1962 Nari Contractor was hit by a bouncer bowled by Charles Griffith. He was conscious for six days and retired from Test cricket. In 1975 Ewen Chatfield was hit by a bouncer bowled by Peter Lever. That time batsmen did not wear helmets.
Geoffrey Boycott was the first to wear helmet. People laughed at the time but soon others followed. Chest guards and other protective gear came in.
Rahul Dravid and Stuart Broad had to miss Tests due to injuries caused by bouncers even though they were wearing helmets.
Phillip Hughes was wearing helmet. The company that produced the helmet said Phillip Hughes was wearing old helmet. If he had worn new helmet he would have been saved.
Phillip Hughes’ funeral is on 3/12/2014. Brisbane Test was to begin on 4/12/2014. It has been postponed. Dates are not decided. Australian cricketers are devastated. David Warner, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and Nathan Lyon were present when Phillip Hughes fell down. Michael Clarke was at the hospital.
Phillip Hughes’ death shows the frailty and fragility of human existence. A healthy young man falls while playing cricket and in two days he is dead.
Some will call for ban on bouncers. Phillip Hughes had faced bouncers before. This was a freak accident. For some time bowlers will be hesitant to bowl bouncers.
Numbers 63, 64 and 408 are associated with Phillip Hughes. He was 63 not out in his last Innings. 408 was his Test cap number and 64 was his ODI jersey number.

Updated: December 2, 2014 — 7:47 am

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