Phillip Hughes death a reminder of why sport unites us all

Sport has rivalries, it has controversy, yet it moves emotions like nothing else. The tragic death of Phillip Hughes has rocked the cricket world, but it has also illustrated why sport is so special. Regardless of patriotism, despite the things that may be said in the heat of battle, the sport of cricket is played by gentlemen and, when it matters most, it unites and transcends division.

The cricket world has this week lost a 25-year-old in the most tragic of circumstances. A young man with a gift for the game. An uncomplicated lad who has been taken from the field of play just as his career was set to blossom. But amidst the sadness, the events since Thursday morning are a beautiful reminder of why we love this sport of crieket.

Sport can be a cruel, unforgiving and frustrating master, yet whether you are part of a team on a local park or being paid to entertain in the heat of an MCG Boxing Day Test, it is where bonds, friendships and respect is formed for life.

The third test between Pakistan and New Zealand resumed in Sharjah on Friday in a sombre atmosphere. The second day’s play had been called off as a mark of respect for Hughes.

The day began with a minutes silence, black armbands, players bats placed outside of both teams dressing rooms with caps resting on the handles in response to the #putoutyourbats social media tribute. The Kiwis played with the initials ‘PH’ written below the silver fern on their shirts. It’s simple stuff, but ridiculously poignant.

One of the most understated day’s cricket ensued. Brendan McCullum scored the fastest Test century by a New Zealander, requiring just 78 balls to cross the century mark. He almost mumbled a bat raise and carried on. No smiles, no wild celebrations - just guys getting on with things.

When it matters, sport has no barriers. That old adage of playing hard on the field and sharing a beer after should never be forgotten.

After reading the many tributes, watching the twitter feeds and feeling stunned along with everyone else that a life has been snapped off in its prime, it has been incredibly moving to see the cricket world unite.

It should not just be in times of grief where the cricket world becomes one. If there is a lasting legacy of Phillip Hughes’ death, let it be that cricket has reminded itself how to behave like friends and gentlemen again.




James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>