Phil Hughes was given moving tributes by Australia and New Zealand one year after his death during the third test of the two teams in Adelaide.
Hughes died on November 27, 2014 after being fatally struck by bouncer Sean Abbot in a fluke accident marking the darkest day in cricket history.
Hughes was remembered with low key but moving tributes as requested by his grieving family.
The first international five-dayer to be played with a pink ball saw both the teams wear black armbands and a video montage being played at 4.08pm during the first scheduled break in play at the Adelaide Oval ‒ the adopted home ground of Hughes. It was in honour of his Test cap number ‒ 408.
Fans were seen holding banners with ‘#63 not out’ written on it to pay tribute to Hughes. Hughes was 63 not out when injury struck him; inspiring the crowd and players to also give 63 seconds of applause in his honour before the start of play.
No minute’s silence was held out of respect for his grieving family, who wanted commemorations to be kept at a minimum. A message however‒ ‘Remembering 408’ ‒ remained on the scoreboard throughout.
Michael Clarke led the tributes on social media by posting an Instagram photograph of himself cuddling his new-born daughter alongside the message: “Wish you were here #408.”
Hughes was hit on the head on November 25 while batting in a Sheffield Shield match for South Australia in Sydney, before passing away in hospital two days later due to his injury.
Rich tributes were also paid to Hughes in the match between New South Wales and Queensland with teams wearing black armbands and flowers and a bat were left outside in tribute.
Moises Henriques, the New South Wales skipper said: “For the guys that are closest to him, every day has been a tough day. Tomorrow is just another one.”
“He’s not just someone you forget about.”
“It’s not like it’s a reminder for a lot of the guys in the team, that’s something you play with every day, having [lost] one of the blokes that you played with and loved.”
David Warner who was good friends with Hughes and who held Hughes’ hand when he was taken from the field on that fatal day said: “There was a lot of emotions come this time last year and that’s one thing in the back of a lot of our minds, but at the end of the day we’re coming out here to play a game that we love, and it’s about crossing that line and putting our cricket caps on and thinking about the job ahead.”
“We always know that our mate is looking down on us and we’ll always do our best for him when we walk out in the field, as we have done in the last 12 months.”
“We’ve said from the first Test last year when we played here: ‘He’s with us every day’”.
RIP Phil wherever you are.