Cricket after Phil Hughes’ tragedy


[Image credits: Pixabay]

An incident shook the cricketing world in 2014, a tragedy shocked world cricket. Here’s what a fan feels about it. A tribute to Phillip Hughes.

The Eoin Morgan injury.

To recall the summer of 2015 as special for the Englishmen would be nothing but an understatement. England surprisingly overcame the kiwi challenge at home, and that too in style. Then, Alistair Cook and co. won the historic Ashes, again at home. This was the resurgence of English Cricket following the World cup debacle. The ODI series followed the Tests, the series was even, both team winning two games each. A summer filled with some exciting cricket, lots of Aussie retirements it had been. Another chapter to Cricket’s ultimate rivalry was seeking an enthralling closure.

The 5th and final ODI of the one-day series is set at Old Trafford. The Englishmen struggling after loosing early wickets. Mitchell Starc bowling to (kill). The 7th over of the innings. Morgan and Bairstow at the crease. The ODI skipper on strike. And, Eoin Morgan gets hit on the helmet of Starc’s bouncer bowled at 90mph. Morgan clearly not well. In a matter of moments, he is surrounded by worried Australian cricketers. The physiotherapist runs in. After initial checks, Eoin has to walk back to the dressing room, hurt, but more disappointed as the moment was a game changer.

As Morgan walked out, it was Australia’s game to loose from then on, which they didn’t. England lost the rubber match, but adding salt to injury and more worrying news was Morgan suffering a concussion. The injury brought an early end to his 2015 season.

The Phillip Hughes tragedy…

It was the same game – Cricket in the 2000s. It was the same game in the 1980s and 90s, it has always been the same sport since the British introduced it to its Colonies. But, yet something is different in the 2010s then any other era. It was a Sheffield Sheild match at the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) in Sydney. The date was 25th November, 2014. Batting on 63 was Australian left-hander Phillip Hughes. Sean Abbot bowled a bouncer which freakishly hit Hughes on the head and the rest as said are sad memories.

The young man left the world. A remarkable career ended only after promising hints of excellence. A family lost their light. A friend could do nothing but curse the bouncer he bowled to his beloved.

A journey back in time. The days when chin-music was a case of excitement. The ball poured fire. So much that a ‘BodyLine-Series‘ became immortal in cricketing history. When the Windies pacemen would tear apart batting lineups with pace and bounce. When, the Ws (Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis) along with a fierce Shoaib Akhtar would dismantle batting line-ups with the same lethal weapon. The viewers loved the sight of men bowling Short-balls at breathtaking speeds. The batsman getting hit was a sight common in the game. At times (although very rare) even welcomed by cheers. All that changed with the Phil Hughes tragedy in the Australian summer of 2015.

The Aftermath…

Batsman getting hit by Short-balls are not fun anymore. Not even for the bowlers. Testament to that fact was Old Trafford. When, Morgan walked off the field in the Manchester ODI. Starc was left the most distressed person on the field. A contrast to times when a batsman getting hit was considered a win mentally for the bowler. It’s not that Cricket weren’t played by gentlemen before or there aren’t tough guys playing the game anymore. Just the realization of Cricket after-all being a part of life. It was always an unpredictable sport but the uncertainties increased more as Phil took his place among the immortals. Cricket will always exist, Bouncers will always remain a part of it. But, Cricket somehow will never be the same as Phil Hughes will ‘Rest in Peace’.