It was just a year ago on November 27 that the death of Australian Cricketer Phillip Hughes stunned the world.
The young 25-year-old died two days after being hit behind the head by a cricket ball.
A year on, while Hughes is still fondly remembered by his team-mates, a lot has changed in Cricket Australia and in international cricket community.
Hughes was playing at the famous Sydney Cricket Ground when he was hit by a short-pitch ball under the rear of his batting helmet, which in turn caused a brain haemorrhage leading to his death.
Hughes first death anniversary was marked with a sombre, low-key observance that was set up during the first-ever day-night Test match in Adelaide this Friday.
His family requested that the tributes were kept simple and honouring their wishes, cricketers from Australia, New Zealand and at Sheffield Shield matches around Australia wore black armbands and played a video tribute which featured photos of Hughes as a boy and highlights of his career as an Australian player.
A year on Hughes fellow team-mate Mitchell Johnson, who recently retired, spoke on how Phillip’s death deeply impacted him. He said:
“I had that (2013-2014) Ashes series where I was really aggressive and bowling a lot of short balls and I did hit players, the death, made me think, was I doing the right thing? You know, was I playing in the spirit of the game?”
Spin bowler Steve O’Keefe, who was fielding for New South Wales when Hughes got hit, still remembers that day and said it changed him forever, he said:
“You’re playing a game that’s supposed to be fun and you’re supposed to be in a great contest, and then in the blink of a ball it completely changes on you. I just hope in my lifetime that I never have to see anything like that again, and we can remember Phil Hughes for what he was, which was a great bloke and an even better player.”
It was only after Phil’s death that the international cricket community took note of the safety measures for the players and new measures such as improved batting helmets were brought into practice.