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Ind vs Aus 2020: The touching Phil Hughes connection to the first ODI

Phil Hughes
Phil Hughes
ANALYST
Modified 18 Nov 2020, 16:43 IST
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The Indian cricket team is in Australia for a long tour that will feature three ODIs, three T20Is, and four Tests. The series will begin with the first ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on November 27. The strong Phil Hughes connection to the game, though, may have slipped our minds.

November 27, 2020 will mark the sixth death anniversary of former Australian cricketer Phil Hughes. On November 25, 2014, the promising Aussie cricketer, while batting for South Australia against New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield match, was hit on the neck by the ball after missing an attempted hook shot to a bouncer from fast bowler Sean Abbott.

The match was played at Sydney Cricket Ground (SGC), the same venue which will host the first ODI between India and Australia.

After being hit below his left ear, despite wearing a helmet, Phil Hughes collapsed to the ground. After being given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Hughes was rushed to a Sydney hospital, and was placed into induced coma.

All Sheffield Shield matches were abandoned as prayers started coming in for Hughes from all across the globe. In an unfortunate turn of events, Hughes passed away on the morning of November 27, 2014, three days short of his 26th birthday.

Sean Abbott’s commendable fightback from Phil Hughes tragedy

Sean Abbott
Sean Abbott

Apart from Phil Hughes’ family and his close friends in the cricketing fraternity, Abbott, who bowled the bouncer that resulted in the unfortunate death of Hughes, would have been affected the most. However, Abbott has displayed tremendous courage and determination to overcome the tragedy, and has gone on to play for Australia as well.

In fact, he claimed taking 6 for 14 against Queensland on his return to first-class cricket from the tragedy, just 17 days later.

Abbott is part of all three squads announced for the series against India, and thus stands a chance to feature in the opening ODI of the series, on Hughes’ sixth death anniversary, and at the same venue where the tragic incident of him being hit took place.

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28-year-old Abbott displayed excellent form in the Sheffield Shield to earn his place in all three squads for the series against India. In three Shield matches for New South Wales, he has claimed 17 wickets at 17.92, including 6 for 89 against Western Australia.

Abbott has excelled with the bat too, having scored 261 runs at an average of 130.50, scoring two half-centuries and his maiden first-class century against Tasmania.

Abbott has so far featured in one ODI and four T20Is for Australia.

Published 18 Nov 2020, 16:43 IST
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