I am still half-expecting a text from Phil Hughes, says Michael Clarke
It has been almost two years since Phil Hughes died because of a tragic accident on the field. The Australian was knocked down by a Sean Abbott bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia on 25th November 2014 and sadly lost his life two days later.
However, former Australian captain, Michael Clarke has revealed that he is yet to recover from the shock. In his new autobiography, 'My Story', Clarke has expressed the trauma that he had to go through after the death of his beloved friend.
Talking about Hughes’ death in his autobiography, Clarke mentioned that he was under pressure to keep playing and did not pause to process Hughes's sudden death and its impact on him. He also mentioned that he did not have time to properly grieve for Hughes's death. Excerpts from his autobiography state:
"Nothing has been quite right since Hughesy. I can see that now. I've gone through good moments at times, even such career highs as winning the World Cup and winning a Test match at Lord's. But throughout it all, there was something not quite right with me, and I couldn't put my finger on it."
"Maybe it was too obvious. Or too frightening to face. I never grieved"
The entire cricketing world was in a shock after the sudden death of Hughes. All of a sudden, the cricketing fraternities felt the need of improved safety equipment for the players. Cricket Australia had cancelled all its domestic and international matches for a while.
Clarke said Australia were pressurised to play in the Adelaide Test match shortly after Hughes's funeral. He was quoted by Cricbuzz:
"One minute I was at war with Cricket Australia, with the selectors and the high-performance manager, and the next minute the world came to an end," he wrote. "But then Hughesy's funeral was behind us, CA was anxious to get the Test series with India going, and the world started spinning again,"
"Unanimously, we want to play the Adelaide Test match as a tribute to Hughesy and for his family, but the timing has to be right," he wrote. "Eventually an agreement is struck to begin the match on 9 December, six days after the funeral. In retrospect, most of us would agree that it is still too soon."
The first Test match that Australia played following the death of Hughes was against the Indian cricket team in Adelaide on 9th December 2014. Clarke had a great year after that, scoring a ton in the first Test and the lifting the 2015 World Cup in Australia.
He went on to write:
"Throughout all that, I never gave myself time to grieve for my mate. I'm thinking about Hughesy 24x7, but my mind hasn't been able to stop and take it all in. I'm still half-expecting a text from him. His number is in my phone. He's still there, in a corner of my mind."
"I have Hughesy constantly in my mind."
The death of Hughes created quite a stir among the cricketers as no one had any clue about what had happened. Apart from losing a promising cricketer, the world had also lost a great human being.