Mandate - - Editor's Note -

It was 27 Novem­ber 2014, when not one wil­low was lifted and thou­sands of eyes drooped, in deep grief. Philip Hughes, 25, was a pre­co­cious tal­ent from whom Aus­tralian cricket ex­pected big things, but he turned out to be an event within him­self. An event which mod­i­fied the way we look at cricket. It used to be a sport, now it is a sport which claimed an in­no­cent life.

That is per­haps why, sit­ting miles away from Michael Clarke’s press con­fer­ence, I could feel the same grief, when he read out the of­fi­cial state­ment. Hughes was a sports­man com­ing of age, with a heavy bag of ex­pec­ta­tions and a heav­ier set of prom­ises he had to keep. His fam­ily would’ve spent count­less nights watch­ing him per­fect his coun­try-baked tech­nique, which in­cluded com­pul­sive slic­ing through point and slash­ing to cover, as well as step­ping away to pro­vide room for ten­nis-style drives down the ground. In short, he was sup­posed to be cricket’s ideal project—a charm­ing lad from the farms who was worth many win­ning mo­ments, with the po­ten­tial to in­spire cricket lovers across the world.

But the mo­ment of loss can only be at­tempted to be com­pen­sated by the act of great­ness. New Zealand’s si­lent trib­ute was worth ev­ery bit of re­spect. Bren­don Mccul­lum smashed one of the fastest tons the next day, but there was no dis­play of cel­e­bra­tion, and what­ever was worth re­mem­ber­ing, was ded­i­cated to Hughes. More­over, of all the 1,135 de­liv­er­ies bowled by New Zealand, none was a bouncer. Talk about the spirit of the game.

Some­times we play stupid games in life, but per­haps it is th­ese mo­ments which make life worth living. A com­mon un­ex­pected grief, and com­ing to­gether to battle it out. The show must go on, and it will in a much bet­ter form. Thanks to Philip Hughes.

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