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Phil Hughes: Gone Too Soon

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The unfortunate death of Phillip Hughes, who was hit by a bouncer while playing a domestic match, has understandably brought an outpouring of emotion and grief. Players across the world, cricket administrators, media, fans and the sporting fraternity have condoled the sad demise of the young player. He was in all likelihood, poised to replace Michael Clarke in a test match against India, if the captain were to be ruled out over fitness concerns. The heartfelt condolences, prayers and messages are only a small indication of the grave loss Phil’s family, friends and teammates feel today due to his absence. The beautiful game too is left with a void due to his tragic demise.

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Such incidents unfortunately leave an unwanted smudge on this otherwise beautiful game. Cricket after all is a game that resembles real life to a large extent. Cricket teaches people the importance of hard work and more importantly, team work and perseverance. It brings to the fore leadership qualities of individuals. This game is a great leveller. It also is in many ways an unbiased sport which provides equal opportunities to both the sides as well as all the players involved. A game of cricket is no different from a pendulum, swinging from one side to the other. It is the players who deserve credit for ensuring that the “spirit of the game” is kept alive.

**

Players like Hughes are testimony to the beauty of the game. The lad was in and out of the Australian team since making his debut in 2009. These repeated breaks didn’t deter him from continuing to push for a place in the team, and he had almost made it. Phil kept training hard, persevered and never stopped believing in himself. Hard work and perseverance are the two greatest lessons life can offer any individual. That is precisely what any sportsman does. A cricketer does not only do that, but also contributes to a larger cause – the team’s cause. After all he is not only representing himself, but also his team and country. That is precisely what Phil had been doing since he took the cricket bat in his hands. He was already knocking on the doors of the Australian test team. Unfortunately, fate had other plans in store.

**

One can’t help but commend the manner in which the Australian captain Michael Clarke as well as Cricket Australia have reacted, to the developments in the aftermath of this incident. The outpouring of support for the bowler, Sean Abbott, who was involved in this freak accident, is heart-warming. The young player has a long career ahead of him and it will be unfortunate if he withers away due to the emotional trauma resulting from this incident. He deserves all possible support in this difficult phase. Phillip Hughes too would have openly wrapped his arm around him and lent him full support, if he were around at this time. A sportsman after all, would best understand the trauma, pain, frustration and helplessness of another of his ilk.

**

In such extraordinary circumstances it sure becomes tough to prioritize and take a call on what is more important – the game or the unfortunate loss of a life? Perhaps, this is not the right question to ask. The right thing to ask is what was the most important thing for the young bloke who is sadly is no more amongst us? If we were to put our hand on our hearts, we would certainly get the answer. Cancelling the next few scheduled matches in the domestic league was the right thing to do. The Pakistan – New Zealand test match too was rightly called off for a day. Hughes left this world while doing what he loved doing most – playing cricket. It was the most important thing to him besides his family and friends. Former Australian skipper, Ian Chappell, has very bravely said “Phillip Hughes would want the game to go on”. Cricket, just like life, has to go on. RIP Phil Hughes. The game and fans will miss you terribly.

Pranav is a Mumbai based sustainability analyst. Besides earning his daily bread with a typical 9-5 job, he likes to travel and exercise. He also is an avid reader, passionate writer and a foodie. He likes writing on topics related to climate change, sports, movies, politics and travel. He has his own blog –www.pranav84blog.wordpress.com which he tries to update once in a while. 

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