BY BIKRAM VOHRA
I woke up early this morning to witness the Phillip Hughes funeral in a small town called Macksville in Australia. I don’t think anyone there or witnessing the tearful scenes on TV could have been unmoved. Even the Sydney Cricket Ground was full of hundreds watching on screen.
Then I get this mail and I am puzzled.
“Ok at the risk of sounding insensitive, isn’t this whole Phil Hughes thing being overdone. It wasn’t as though the guy sacrificed his life saving a dozen kids or killing some terrorist or some other nasty bloke. He is a guy who got his timing wrong, played the wrong shot on the wrong ball and got hit on the wrong place. It’s unfortunate he copped it, but that’s about it. There are worse tragedies that happen every day to normal decent people in incidents that are accidents. So let’s just get over this huge nonsense over Hughes.”
You are welcome to your opinion Sir but what I don’t understand is why you are so het up.
I have this to say about that sort of response.
In the adversity, even as one felt the grief, there was a sense of pride in the decorum and the depth of feeling that has come in the wake of this bizarre incident last Thursday… we could safely state that for one, brief, shining moment there was a Camelot.
A warrior fell and has been justly accorded a hero’s farewell. Only two weeks earlier, Phil Hughes had said he had never stood next to a famous man. Today his name is on the lips of a thousand famous men and women and his mates and sportspersons per se have epitomized a comradeship and an espirit de corps not seen anywhere but on the field of battle. At the worst of times this is all we have to fall back on. A hundred thousand bats were placed quietly outside the doors and parks and grounds by the famous and the unknown.
Except for a self-indulgent and thoughtless play on his name in headlines like ‘A Hughes loss’ in some of the global media and advertising the coming together by the cricketing community in the face of this bizarre death had a certain sense of upliftment. One felt the power and the glory of being a team player, of the fact that they have each other’s backs and there is a bonding.
Not many of us in life get that privilege of belonging and as Phil himself said how can life be better than playing cricket for your country.
This is the spirit of sport and by making his final farewell so grand in some way we saluted those who play the game. When you climb into your bed tonight and lie upon your cot spare a thought for Sean Abbot.