Australian newspapers on Friday morning © Getty Images
Australian newspapers on Friday morning © Getty Images

Sydney: Nov 28, 2014

As the entire Australia mourned the death of Phillip Hughes, the front pages of all the national dailies paid rich tribute to the young batsman, who succumbed to his head injuries yesterday that he sustained during a domestic match.

Hughes died in a Sydney hospital yesterday after being hit by a bouncer in a domestic match on Tuesday and that plunged Australia as well as the whole world into grief.

Sydney Morning Herald, which devoted 12 pages to the tragic story, said: “The nation shares the agony of an innings cut short” on its front page.

It added: “A bright talent, 63 not out forever,” referring to the score Hughes was on when he was hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott. “The tragic notion of an athlete dying young is etched deeply into our sports-loving nation,” an editorial said.

“Cricket, especially, binds us, its lore passed through families. For us, Hughes remains forever young, smiling, batting with abandon, sprinting between wickets, punching the air in jubilation. A little bloke off the farm chasing his dream of wearing the Baggy Green.”

It also gave a headline, stating: “We love you,” from a family statement that was read out yesterday by Australian captain Michael Clarke, who was a close friend of Hughes.

“To the family and friends of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes … everyone at the Herald expresses our deepest sympathies,” it said in an editorial.

The newspaper also put its weight behind Abbott, who unfortunately bowled a fatal ball. “To Sean Abbott … we are thinking of you. Stay well. Listen to the advice of those who know how fragile you are, even if you don’t fully realise.”

The Sydney Daily Telegraph also paid tribute to Hughes across 14 pages. A smiling picture of Hughes on the front page, simply read: “Phillip Hughes 1988-2014.” In an opinion piece it said that the sporting world, and much of Australia, was in “deep mourning” with flags flying at half mast at cricket grounds across the nation.

Showing support for young Abbott, the broadsheet said: “Players and commentators have rightly stood by fast bowler Sean Abbott, who was simply playing his usual game when Hughes was injured. Nobody can possibly bear him any ill will. It is hoped, with time, Abbott will return to the game he loves.”

The Age gave the headline “RIP Phillip Hughes: Cricket’s saddest day”. “RIP Phillip Hughes. Those have to be the saddest words ever written in the name of cricket. This has to be cricket’s saddest day.

“Others have died playing the game. Others have died playing other games. But no cricketer so high profile can have died so publicly, and in such grim circumstances. No sportsman’s death can have come as such a shock,” the associate editor of The Age wrote.

The Courier Mail said no other tragic incident in Australian sports has caused “more widespread grief than this heartbreaking tale of a strong-willed young cricketer”.

“An impish cricketer with a warm, cheeky grin who had no enemies in the game, Hughes will forever be remembered as one of the game’s most likeable characters,” the newspaper said.

Complete coverage of Phil Hughes’ head injury