Cricket fans around Australia brave heat to join in the grief

Cricket fans around Australia brave heat to join in the grief

Cricket fans gathered across Australia on Wednesday to mourn the death of batsman Phillip Hughes, a show of support described by Michael Clarke as the "spirit of cricket that binds us all together".

Thousands of fans braved the heat at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), the Adelaide
Oval, the Gabba and the WACA to express their grief.

Despite blanket live coverage of the funeral on local television and international news networks like the BBC and CNN, many of those present at Australia's iconic cricket venues had travelled hundreds of kilometres to remember Hughes.

"As a fan of cricket, I felt obligated," said Ken Johnson from St George, who spoke to Reuters at the SCG, just metres from where Hughes suffered the fatal blow to the head from a bouncer during a state match last Tuesday.

Modi’s message

The tributes that have flooded in from around the world over the last week continued on Wednesday, making the mourning a truly international affair.

"Heart-rending funeral in Australia. Phil Hughes, we will miss you. Your game & exuberance won you fans all over! RIP," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
Respite for Abbott

Covering the funeral, Channel Nine producers gave Sean Abbott his moment of space by deliberately keeping the camera away from the New South Wales pacer, while the proceedings went on live.

In what probably would have been the toughest day for Abbott, whose bouncer was responsible for Hughes’ injury, the media respected the pacer’s sentiments by maintaining a distance.

Dressed in a dark blue suit, Abbott, 22, walked alongside his parents down the street towards the school hall where the funeral was held as photographers clicked a few pictures.

Abbott’s girlfriend, Brier Neil, had grabbed the player’s waist tightly as she walked next to him down Wallace Street, through the Macksville locals and into the sanctuary of the RSL club, reported Sydney Morning Herald.

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