Phillip Hughes Death: ‘Weeping’ Australia in Mourning – Slater!
The death of Phillip Hughes has left a country weeping and has “changed cricket forever” – according to former Australian batsman Michael Slater.
The 25-year-old died on Thursday – two days after being struck in the neck during a domestic match in Australia.
“I think we’ve all wept in the last day or so,” Slater told BBC Radio 5 live.
“I don’t think anyone thought the outcome would be Phillip Hughes passing away.”
Slater added of the batsman: “It is so heavy and confusing. It’s not what happens in cricket. In this instance it has changed cricket forever.
“The whole of Australia is mourning because he was a fighter. He got dropped by Australia but came back out and scored lots of runs. Australians can relate to that – he was gritty. His death has affected a nation.”
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland told a news conference in Sydney on Friday that a decision has not yet been made on whether next Thursday’s first Test against India in Brisbane will go ahead.
“Cricket will go on when we’re ready. But we’ve not broached that subject with the players yet,” he said.
“We will in time but they’ve got other things on their mind.
“To many people, seven days does not seem far away but in other ways it is a million miles away. We will get there when we can.”
Cricket Australia general manager Pat Howard added: “We need to make sure the players are in a position where they can make strong choices. That is not now. The focus is on people rather than the cricket.”
Sutherland added that he had spoken to bowler Sean Abbott – whose delivery fatally struck Hughes – and that he was “holding up really well”.
He said: “I was incredibly impressed by the way he was holding himself and his maturity.”
Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s lead broadcaster Gerard Whateley, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, said: “It’s a numbing shock, which is more akin to when terrorist attacks have occurred around the world. You seek comfort first with your family, and then more broadly.”
Cricket Australia has also released a video tribute by cameraman Adam Goldfinch, who has toured extensively with the national side.
Phillip Hughes, batting for South Australia, was hit in the neck by a short-pitched ball on Tuesday. He never regained consciousness.
Australian team doctor Peter Brukner explained Hughes died as a result of “vertebral artery dissection”.
His family paid tribute to a “much-loved son and brother”.
Cricket Australia is “completely devastated” at the “freak accident”.
Emotional Australia captain Michael Clarke stayed with Hughes’s family at his bedside for two days.
No decision yet whether to play next week’s Test match against India, but warm-up match cancelled.
Australia rugby union team set to wear black armbands against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
Golfer Adam Scott, an Aussie, wears a black ribbon during Australian Open.
F1’s Australian Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo tweets: “The whole sporting world’s been affected”.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Hughes’ death as a “shocking aberration”.
Recap how the world reacted to Hughes’s death here.
Australian media has been paying tribute to Hughes, with front and back pages dedicated to the life and career of the left-handed batsman, who played 26 Tests for his country.
He died after being hit by a short-pitched delivery from New South Wales bowler Abbott, 22.
On Twitter, cricket fans posted photographs of their own bats, as a mark of respect to Hughes, with the hashtags #putoutyourbats and #putyourbatout. Paul Taylor, from Sydney, is believed to have come up with the idea.