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Speech to Parliament – Phil Hughes

 3 December 2014

Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (11:31): I rise to lend my voice to the millions who have grieved since the tragic death of Phillip Hughes. We all feel the loss of a life cut short. There is no rationalising this event. This was a terrible accident. For this brilliant and talented young man to have been taken from his us in the midst of playing our national sport seems unimaginable.

Phil Hughes was born in Macksville New South Wales to Greg and Virginia. He grew up with a love of sport and excelled at a young age. His passion and skill led him, on the cusp of his 19th birthday, to become the youngest New South Wales debutant since Michael Clarke in 1999.

In 2008, Hughes was rewarded for his achievements by winning the New South Wales Rising Star Award. And following his wondrous debut to competitive cricket, Phil Hughes became only the 408th man to be given the honour of pulling on the baggy green cap and playing test cricket for his country. His achievements did not end there as he went on to become the youngest cricketer in history to score centuries in both innings of a test match.

I have been deeply moved to witness the national and indeed international response to this event. Sport has forever been our unifying factor, and this has been made evident in our reaction. Families have joined together to honour Phil by placing cricket bats outside their front doors and tributes have been left at local cricket clubs.

Today we as a nation will come together to support Phillip’s family and community. We will take an hour from our day and celebrate Phillip’s life.

Phil will be unquestionably remembered for his cricketing prowess and his love of the game, but the words of his teammates, friends and family over the past week have revealed a much admired and loved young man. Every image shown has seen him smiling. This is how we should remember him—for how he lived, loved and played.

Cricket is more than a sport. The term ‘cricket’ is the embodiment of fairness, sportsmanship, accepting the umpire’s decision, the bravery to face a fast ball, and the bravery to choose to hook. What happened to Phil was not fair. Phil will remain in our hearts indelibly. Phillip will remain in the very soul of cricket as long as it is played.