Phillip Joel Hughes (Born on 30 November 1988 Macksville New South Wales– 27 November 2014) was an Australian Test and One Day International (ODI) cricketer who played domestic cricket for South Australia and Worcestershire. He was a left-handed opening batsman who played for two seasons with New South Wales before making his Test debut in 2009 at the age of 20.
Hughes scored his first Test century in March 2009, aged 20, in his second Test match for Australia, opening the batting and hitting 115 in the first innings against South Africa in Durban. This made Hughes Australia’s youngest Test centurion since Doug Walters in 1965. In the second innings of the same match, Hughes scored 160, becoming the youngest cricketer in history to score centuries in both innings of a Test match (Australia won the match by 175 runs). On 11 January 2013, he became the first Australian batsman in the history of ODI cricket to score a century on debut, a feat which he achieved against Sri Lanka in Melbourne.
On 25 November 2014, Hughes was hit in the neck by a bouncer, during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground, causing a vertebral artery dissection that led to asubarachnoid haemorrhage. The Australian team doctor, Peter Brukner, noted that only 100 such cases had ever been reported, with “only one case reported as a result of a cricket ball”. Hughes was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, where he underwent surgery, was placed into an induced coma and was in intensive care in a critical condition.He died on 27 November, having never regained consciousness, three days before his 26th birthday.
Career: Less than a week after his debut in first-class cricket, on 28 November 2007, Hughes made his List A debut against Victoria at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. While he was not originally scheduled to play the match, sickness to Australian opening batsman Phil Jaques handed him the spot. Just as he did in his first-class debut, Hughes passed 50 but was eventually dismissed for 68, top scoring for New South Wales in a “controlled” display.
After New South Wales’ wicket-keeper Brad Haddin was struck in the head by a top edge, Hughes took on the keeping duties for nine overs. On 17 May 2009, Hughes made his first limited overs century, scoring 119 for Middlesex against Warwickshire. On 29 July 2014, he made a double century (202 not out from 151 balls) in a match with South Africa A in Darwin
Australian international career: After consistently making runs at domestic level, Hughes was called up to replaceMatthew Hayden on Australia’s tour of South Africa in February and March 2009. He was selected to make his debut in the first Test match starting on 26 February 2009 at theNew Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg after making 53, then retiring, in Australia’s tour match against the South African Board President’s XI. He was dismissed for a duck in his first Test innings by Dale Steyn off just the fourth ball of the match, however, he went on to top-score with 75 in the second innings, including 11 fours and a six.
Hughes hit his maiden Test century in the first innings of the second Test at the Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead, Durban on 6 March 2009, before adding another hundred in the second Innings. In doing so, at the age of 20 years and 96 days, he became both the youngest Australian since Doug Walters to score a Test century and the youngest player from any country to score a century in both innings of a Test match.
Hughes at Northampton in July 2009: During the 2009 Ashes campaign, Hughes’ unorthodox technique was exploited by fast bowlers, who targeted his upper body and avoided bowling wide outside off stump, restricting his opportunities to play shots through the offside, most notably the cut shot. He was dropped from the team for the third Edgbaston Test in favour of Shane Watson, who opened the batting in his place and provided the Australians with an extra bowling option. Upon his return from South Africa, the Phillip Hughes Award, to be given annually to a promising young cricketer from the local district, was announced in his hometown of Macksville.
Hughes was a fringe player for the next year or so, playing some Tests to cover other injured batsmen. He played two home Tests against Pakistan in this capacity, covering the injured Ricky Ponting in the Boxing Day Test, then Simon Katich in the New Year’s Test. He was then called up to the Test squad for the tour of New Zealand in March 2010to replace Shane Watson in the first Test; he scored a rapid 86 from 75 balls in a small fourth-innings run chase in this Test.
Hughes was dropped from the 2010–2011 Ashes squad but was called up for the Third Test as a replacement for the injured Simon Katich. He was a regular in the Australian team for the following year, playing in the last three Ashes tests, tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa and then a home series against New Zealand, but his spot came under pressure due to his inconsistency during that time. He achieved two big scores (126 inColombo and 88 in Johannesburg), but his next-highest score was only 36, and he consistently fell to catches at slip and gully. He was heavily criticised for his performance in the two-Test series against New Zealand, in which he managed only 41 runs at 10.25, and was dismissed exactly the same way in all four innings: caught at slip byMartin Guptill from the bowling of Chris Martin. He was dropped from the Australian team following the series.
In a stint to Worcestershire for the English County Cricket competition, Hughes made adjustments to his much-maligned technique resulting in a more expansive range of strokes with more emphasis on legside play. Upon return to Australia, Hughes left his home state of New South Wales, moving to South Australia. This resulted in a strong return of runs in first class cricket in the Sheffield Shield and one-day cricket in theRyobi Cup. These returns earned Hughes a recall to the Australian Test team to face Sri Lanka in Hobart following the retirement of Ricky Ponting in December 2012. He made an impressive first inning 86 batting at number 3.
After almost a year away from the Test arena, Hughes found himself back in the Test side for the series against Sri Lanka in lieu of the retiring Ricky Ponting, occupying the number 3 position over Watson. Immediately he made an impact, scoring a solid 86 in the first Test match at Hobart, with a new-found confidence and tighter technique that had eluded him 12 months prior. He made two half-centuries during his comeback scoring 233 runs at 46.60 in what was the most successful stint at the number 3 spot that the Australians had seen for some time. Hughes was set to receive a $1 million contract with Cricket Australia and be selected in Australia’s ODI and T20 international squads in the wake of Michael Hussey’s international retirement at the end of the 2012/13 Australia summer. Hughes’ selection in the Australian ODI squad was confirmed on 6 January 2013. National selection boss John Inverarity noted that players such as Hughes were included with an eye to the 2015 World Cup, suggesting that he was viewed as a long-term player for Australia in all three forms of the game.
Hughes made his mark with a solid 112 (from 129 balls) in his ODI debut, becoming the first Australian to reach a century on debut. He opened the innings with Aaron Finch atMelbourne, and added a 140-run 3rd wicket partnership with captain George Bailey, before being dismissed by Lasith Malinga. Hughes scored his 2nd match-winning ODI century with 138 (n.o) off 154 balls in the fifth ODI of the same series.
Following his successful summer season in Australia in 2012/2013, Hughes was selected to play in the Test series in India, but he struggled, scoring 147 runs in eight innings and averaging only 18.37. He played the first two Tests of the 2013 Ashes, and shared a world record tenth wicket partnership of 163 runs with debutant Ashton Agar in the first innings at Trent Bridge, but was dropped after scoring only two runs in the following three innings. Hughes did not play another Test for Australia, but played in ODI series in India in October 2013, in Zimbabwe (against both Zimbabwe and South Africa) in September 2014, and against Pakistan in the UAE in October 2014 Hughes made his first and only Twenty20 International appearance for Australia against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates on 5 October 2014.
Death: During the afternoon session of the Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 25 November 2014, Hughes, batting at 63 not out, was struck in the neck by the ball after missing an attempted hook shot to a bouncer from New South Wales bowler Sean Abbott. Hughes was wearing a helmet, but the ball struck an unprotected area just below his left ear. He collapsed before receiving mouth to mouth resuscitation and was subsequently taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, where he underwent surgery and was placed into an induced coma. Hughes’ injury was a rare but described type of sport-related blunt cerebrovascular injury called a vertebral artery dissection which led to subarachnoid haemorrhage.
The match was immediately abandoned. The other two Shield games that were being played elsewhere in Australia (Brisbane and Melbourne), were abandoned at the end of the day, with Cricket Australia stating that “Given how players across the country are feeling right now, it’s just not the day to be playing cricket.
On the morning of 27 November 2014, Hughes died from his injuries, three days before his 26th birthday. Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke read a statement on behalf of Hughes’ family.
In May 2015, Cricket Australia announced that an independent review will be undertaken into Hughes’ death.
As a result of Hughes’ death, calls were made for improvements to batting helmets and this has resulted in new designs which have additional guards fitted to the rear of the helmet. However, a recent independent review released by Cricket Australia, states that “The now mandated British Standard helmet would have offered no protection where he was struck. There is limited scientific evidence that current neck guards will prevent a similar tragedy and they must be properly evaluated before they are mandated.” After the review was completed in 2016, it was concluded that the incident was purely accidental, and any changes made to improve safety during the review period, such as mandatory helmets for wicket keepers, close-in fielders, and batsmen facing fast or medium pace bowling (even during net sessions) would not have prevented the accident. Also, for all Cricket Australia-sanctioned matches, defibrillators must be available at all grounds. RIP Phillip Hughes
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Phillip Hughes Funeral has Hit 2 Million Views and the YouTube Video has become a Shrine for Indian, Pakistani and Australian Supporters