What’s the story?
Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has said that he had the utmost respect towards Indian skipper Virat Kohli for the way he responded during the Phillip Hughes saga, that had mourned the cricketing world in November 2014.
Speaking at the launch of his autobiography ‘My Story’ in India on Tuesday, the 35-year-old said that he will always remember Kohli’s and the other Indian cricketer’s gesture of coming to the funeral that was held in Hughes’s hometown of Macksville a few days after his death.
“The way (Virat) handled that situation, he came for the funeral and had some of the Indian players too. I have utmost respect for him because of that.
"This is clearly above the game of cricket and they didn't need to postpone the game. They could not have turned up for the funeral. They didn't have to do anything that they did. I will always remember that," the former right-hander said.
In case you didn’t know...
On the 25th of November 2014, Hughes was struck on the right side of his head by a Sean Abbott delivery while playing for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield game against New South Wales, when he was batting on 63 not out.
The batsman was immediately carried, off the field and rushed the St. Vincent Hospital in Sydney where he spent two days before being declared dead.
The news of his passing away created a state of mourning all around the cricketing world with a campaign, titled, ‘Put Out Your Bats’ taking much space on the social media platform.
The heart of the matter
Clarke further added he felt emotional when he spoke about the episode and admitted that it was one of the reasons why he wrote the autobiography. He added that despite almost three years having passed since Hughes left the world, he continued to find it hard to fathom his loss.
He also said that had Clarke been in Hughes’s position, then the latter would have perhaps done the same thing as he did.
From that tour point of view, the start of the series was delayed by a few days as the schedule saw a re-jig. The tour, in particular, the Test series, was the beginning of a new era in Indian cricket with MS Dhoni retiring after the third Test and Kohli taking over the Test captaincy.
At a time when the news of his death began to take centre stage, cricket took a backseat and expectedly so. At such a juncture, Kohli’s gesture was certainly heart warming and in future, if an incident of such grief does strike the cricketing world, then one hopes for a similar gesture once again.