I’d planned to do a blog about cricket in the next week or two. In line with the quirky nature of this page, it was going to be a story about how difficult it was to finally take my cricket whites to the charity shop, some twenty years after I used them regularly, and probably ten or so years since I last played any sort of competitive match.
I was then going to riff on my dreadful involuntary cowardice in the face of an oncoming cricket ball; my legendarily bad fielding for Largo CC; and how I came to acquire my cricketing nickname, ‘Scud.’
However, in the wake of Philip Hughes’s sad death after being felled by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match on Tuesday, all of that seems a bit inappropriate, really. So instead, all I want to say is how much I feel for Phil Hughes’s family, friends and team-mates right now, as well as for the bowler, Sean Abbott.
Cricket is a strange game: seen by outsiders as a dull, slow contest in which nothing much happens, those who’ve played it regularly, even at club level, as I did, know it involves a potentially lethal missile even in the hands of lesser cricketers. I didn’t play in the 1st XI game at Largo where a visiting batsman top edged a pull shot off one of our medium-fast bowlers straight into his face, losing an eye in the process; but I know how deeply it affected everyone that was involved.
I hope that time heals this for all who knew Phil Hughes personally.