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Australia remembers Hughes: Cricket felt irrelevant, says Smith

Source: PTI
November 27, 2019 14:57 IST

IMAGE: Philip Hughes was 25 when he was hit on the neck by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match in Sydney and died without regaining consciousness exactly five years ago. Photograph: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

Australia paid homage to late cricketer Philip Hughes, who died after being struck on his neck by a bouncer five years ago, with former captain Steve Smith saying that the game seemed irrelevant the day the tragedy took place.

 

Hughes was 25 when he was hit on the neck by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match in Sydney and died without regaining consciousness exactly five years ago. He was just three days short of his 26th birthday at the time.

"It was kind of a care free week if that makes sense, cricket wise. It was sort of like, this is actually almost irrelevant in a way," Smith was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

"You have little moments that come up every now and then, things that remind you of him and things like that. Comes up every now and then," he said.

Another former captain and now retired Michael Clarke, who was a close fried of Hughes and was among the pall-bearers at his funeral, posted a short message on his Instagram page, paying tribute to Hughes.

"Everyday I think of you, but this week even more. Wish you were here buddy," he posted.

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said the country has felt Hughes' loss everyday.

"Phillip Hughes was the very best of Australian cricket: a man dedicated to his family, a loyal friend, a popular teammate and a prodigiously talented cricketer," Roberts said.

"He remains in the hearts of players, coaches, staff, volunteers and fans across Australia and around the world. He always will," he added.

Australian team to raise toast to late Hughes

Phillip Hughes is always in his teammates' thoughts and the Australian team will raise a toast to "absent friends" in the memory of the cricketer who died five years ago after being struck on the neck by a bouncer.

"Time flies. I still remember, one of the worst days of our life, and we will toast absent friends today. I'm sure we will talk about it today when we get to the Adelaide Oval," Langer said in a video clip posted by cricket.co.au.

"How lucky we are to be playing cricket, representing our country, being in Adelaide, being at the Adelaide Oval - they are always nice reminders. I am sure that's what Hughesy would like too. He will be smiling down on us somewhere going 'just remember, you have got it pretty good you boys'."

Langer added that the Adelaide Oval has beautiful picture of Hughes hanging in the change room and the left-hander is always present in his teammates' thoughts.

"After the T20 game here (against Sri Lanka), there's a beautiful picture of Hughesy in the change rooms. After we had our debriefing, and we toasted absent friends. Like we do every time we walk into the change room," Langer said.

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