Phil Hughes © Getty Images
Phil Hughes was only 25 when he died © Getty Images

One day after Phillip Hughes’ tragic demise, international cricket saw as many as four matches being played. Despite the universal grief, the proverbial show did go on. Shiamak Unwalla observes how cricket went on despite all the anguish. READ: Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

It has been just a day since the cricketing world was plunged into a collective wave of sorrow. Tributes poured in from every corner imaginable; Afghanistan and UAE observed a minute’s silence before their match. Singapore cricket Tweeted a picture of a bat and a cap with the hashtag #putyourbatsout; even Rafael Nadal — a Spaniard with no cricketing connections whatsoever  —tweeted “Shocked about the news of Oz’s cricketer Phil Hughes. My thoughts with the family and the cricket fans [sic].”

But Cricket went on.

Four international matches were played a day after Hughes passed away. The third Test between Pakistan and New Zealand resumed after play on Day Two was called off. Bangladesh met Zimbabwe in the fourth One-Day International (ODI). India Women hosted South Africa Women for the third ODI. UAE and Afghanistan began their ODI series. READ: Hughes’ funeral: Bidding adieu to the “little” giant

New Zealand were perhaps the team most visibly affected. They put out their bats on the boundary line, wore black armbands, and hand-wrote the letters “PH” beneath the Fern on their left chests. Most significantly, they played hard, but the general mood was sombre. Misbah-ul-Haq was out in the fourth over of the morning, edging Tim Southee to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

If one had not been watching the match very closely, they could well have been forgiven for thinking it was just another dot ball. Misbah walked off without a change in expression; Tim Southee just walked up to the ‘keeper on his follow-through, and Brendon McCullum wore a look that showed no happiness.

One after another, the Pakistani batsmen kept getting out. It almost seemed that their minds had drifted to a parallel world. The fielders were taking catches without any display of emotion. There was some good cricket on display, but the players themselves were clearly not savouring it. McCullum went on to score the fastest hundred for a New Zealander, but there was hardly any celebration. READ: Thank you, Brendon McCullum

Hughes was much loved; of that there is no doubt. His passing has touched thousands of people, even those with no direct relation to the game. A day after his death, he remains at the forefront of all things cricket. But the game went on. Their hearts were not really in it, but the cricketers played on.

Four international matches were played a day after his passing; four highly competitive, engaging contests. Cricket went on. But with a heavy heart. Complete coverage of Phil Hughes’ tragic demise

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)