It was shocking to hear about the passing of the Australian opening batsman Phillip Hughes, two days after taking a bouncer blow during a domestic Sheffield Shield match. Irrespective of what happened off the pitch, Hughes remains not out in his final outing. He constructed a solid innings and immortalised it by infusing it with his life. I understand that he was expecting an Australian call up any moment. Is god Australian?
Hughes had all the potential to play 100 Test matches for Australia, given his positive attitude and young age. Generally, Australian cricketers cement their place in the team after the age of 28, with very few exceptions like Michael Clarke.
Hopefully, the tragic incident will open some serious discussions on the design of protective gear used by cricketers. It has been quite some time since the gear designs have been updated. Most of the manufacturers concentrate on ways to reduce the weight of some of the gear, including helmets. If we have protective gear that serve the purpose, we may not need to think about revising the bouncer rules. What is even more disturbing is the lack of security measures at a cricket ground in case of an emergency. It is shocking to know that Hughes could be moved to a hospital only around 50 minutes after the incident took place.
Though his career (and life) ended prematurely, Hughes will be remembered for two records. His record of being the youngest cricketer to score hundreds in both innings of a Test match might be broken in the future, but the record of being the first Australian batsman to score a hundred on ODI debut will be his, forever. Rest in eternal peace, Phillip.