Opinion

The day Phillip Hughes taught us a big lesson

SAD LOSS: Phillip Hughes will be remembered as a bright and cheeky young man with an infectious smile. Photo: AFP//William West
SAD LOSS: Phillip Hughes will be remembered as a bright and cheeky young man with an infectious smile. Photo: AFP//William West AFP//William West

"THIS kid will play for Australia one day".

The first time I heard these words I was a young junior cricketer overhearing a conversation about Brad Hodge.

Considering Hodge's outstanding career, I sat up and took notice the next time I heard the sentence uttered again.

This time it was about Macksville 13-year-old Phillip Hughes.

So it was with anticipation that I watched a 16-year-old Hughes pad up with his brother Jason and take to the field for Sawtell.

Despite his tender years, the left-hander was impressive and was considered a vital scalp if the West Coffs Tigers, the team I was captaining, was to beat Sawtell in that season's grand final.

The young man seemingly not much taller than the stumps proved a thorn as he eased his way to a half century as the withering cut shot which would become his trademark proved hard to counter.

Late on the first day of the grand final, I thought I was crazy for placing a slip, two gullys, a short third man and a backward point to counter his run making. 

I felt better about my own cricketing sanity a few years later when Test captains like Graeme Smith, Ross Taylor and Andrew Strauss started employing similar fields against him.

That was Hughes'strength - not just his desire to bat for long periods of time but the ability to find the smallest of gaps anywhere between cover-point and the keeper.

It was only three years after that grand final Hughes became the youngest player to make a century in a Sheffield Shield final. For such a young man, his cricketing numbers soon made for Boy's Own Annual reading.

Hughes played 26 Tests, 25 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and a Twenty20 match for Australia.

He became the youngest player in history to make a century in each innings of a Test match, remains the only Australian to score a century on ODI debut and when he made an unbeaten 202 for Australia A against South Africa A he became the first Australian male to score a double century in a 50-overs-a-side match. He also shares the Australian Test record for a 10th wicket partnership with Ashton Agar.

Hughes is one of only four Australians to have scored multiple Test centuries before his 21st birthday. The others being Neil Harvey, Doug Walters and Don Bradman. Exalted company indeed.

But Hughes is more than a list of numbers and achievements.

Over the past couple of days it has become apparent that Greg and Virginia Hughes raised a fine son.

Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones said: "Phillip is fondly remembered as a bright and cheeky young man with an infectious smile".

South Australian Cricket Association chief executive Keith Bradshaw described the 25-year-old as: "Loved by everyone, Phillip was a really terrific person and a remarkable talent."

The true tragedy of a life lost so early has all at the Coffs Coast Advocate extending our deepest sympathies to Phil's family and friends.

Topics:  chdca coffs harbour district cricket association cricket editors picks north coast cricket council opinion phil hughes sawtell cricket club



Diner reimbursed after finding steel in his burger

Simon Towler claims he had been seeking reimbursement from McDonalds' insurance company for almost a year.

McDonalds to foot the dental bill of diner injured by burger

Rescuing Coffs Coast food destined for the dump

FEEDING MASSES: Loaves and Fishes' Benjamin Critten, Wayne Crowther, Ray Webb, Phil Hannaford and Russell Jones show some of the charity's food produce.

Tonnes of food given a second chance instead of being dumped

WIN acquires rights to Southern Cross Media television

WIN network coverage

Changes to take effect at end of the month

Local Partners

Rescuing Coffs Coast food destined for the dump

WHILE tonnes of food may go to waste, many more thousands of kilograms are spared from ending up in the landfill.


What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Petula Clark delighted to sing live for Australian fans

STILL TOURING: English singer Petula Clark is coming to Queensland.

English star Petula Clark still puts on a great show, even at 84.

Do you really know your road rules?

Cars travel around the roundabout at Villiers and Fitzroy Street. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

List of the top 10 most misunderstood road rules in NSW.

Hervey Bays to star in international horror flick

A great white thriller that had scenes filmed on the Fraser Coast has been picked up by a major US movie studio.

Cher, 71, and Celine Dion wow world at Billboard Awards

“I’m 71 yesterday and I can do a five-minute plank, OK.”

Judah's return to The Voice stage is a knockout

Judah Kelly performs during his knockout round on The Voice.

QUEENSLAND singer nails Adele hit.

WIN acquires rights to Southern Cross Media television

WIN network coverage

Changes to take effect at end of the month

Wentworth star Daniielle Alexis: "I was born a boy"

Wentworth star Daniielle Alexis has revealed she was born a boy

Dwayne Johnson, Tom Hanks announce White House bid on SNL

Dwayne Johnson is “officially” running for president in 2020

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

REVEALED: Where it's cheaper to pay off a mortgage than rent

6/190 Ewing Rd, Woodridge, is listed for offers $215,000. Picture: realestate.com.au

Brisbane suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent

Close to everything, yet blissfully private

SNEAK PEEK: This private and elevated Coffs Harbour home is on the cover of this week's Real Estate Property Guide.

The Real Estate Property Guide is online now.

The hardest place in the state to find a rental property

RENTAL SHORTAGE: Richmond River, Ballina Bar Emigrant Creek Pacific Highway Teven Interchange. Photo Jay Cronan / The Northern Star

Not enough supply to meet insatiable demand

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!