The attached was written by Brad Tuite, captain of the Forest Hills 2nd XI and given to his players before start of play on Saturday. I find it quite an exceptional tribute to Phil Hughes and asked him if we could put on the website for all to share.
Also, attached are some photos of the Blackburn Souths vs Koonung Heights tribute match. Thanks to Dean Brayden for sending these through.
VALE PHILLIP HUGHES 1988 – 2014
To my Zebra brothers,
I am writing this to you not only as your Captain, but also as your team mate and fellow cricket lover. Over the last 48 hours, each and every one of us has been rocked by the tragic events that occurred to Phil Hughes and have faced a variety of emotions. We have felt shocked, saddened and even at times emotional at what has occurred to a member of Australia’s cricket family. Whatever level of cricket we play, we are all part of this family, whether it’s Milo cricket, junior cricket, 1st/2nd/3rd/4th XI cricket, State cricket or International cricket, we all play this great game because we love it.
While we all make lifelong friendships and bonds, the No 1 reason we are all here is because we love the game of cricket. We love playing it, the challenges the game gives us, we love the camaraderie with our team mates, the challenge to beat your opponent, to be the best we can be as a player, but most of all we just love the game of cricket.
Every summer we glue ourselves to the TV to watch our country’s best players. These are the players we aspire to be, they represent our country and also in some way they represent us cricketers. Today is our turn to repay the favour these guys give us. It is our turn to represent our country and to also represent the game of cricket. It is our turn to play tribute to a man who died playing the game he loved, the game we love.
We might not have known Hughesy personally, but we all feel like we do. We celebrated his hundreds, now we get to celebrate his life. Today we dedicate ourselves to Phillip Hughes. We dedicate ourselves to the Hughes family, we dedicate ourselves to Sean Abbott, we dedicate ourselves to Michael Clarke and the Australian team, we dedicate ourselves to our team mates but most of all we dedicate ourselves to the game of cricket.
Right now our great game of cricket is hurting. Our country is hurting. They are mourning the loss of a family member and our opportunity to pay our respects is by our approach to today’s game. I always ask us to play hard cricket, that does not change. What changes, is that today we do not overstep the boundary’s that at times we have done. We play hard, but we play fair. We are going to enjoy every minute of playing with our mates, but most of all we are going to enjoy playing cricket.
From 1pm to 6pm today we represent our club in a professional manner, when things get tough or hard, think of Phil Hughes, draw some inspiration from him. While we will all be wearing black armbands and observing a minutes silence, if you feel the need to draw even more inspiration from him (this may be his test number 408 or 63no written on the ground somewhere) then by all means do it. Do what you think best represents your personal tribute to him.
I ask after reading this, you take a couple of minutes to ponder your own thoughts, then put on your baggy green and white cap and follow me in walking out to the middle where we will place our hats in a line on the pitch, where they will remain for the duration of our warm up. This is our Zebra 2nd XI tribute to him.
For me personally, the last 48 hours has left me with a hollow feeling. Yes I may have shed a tear or two for a man I never knew personally, but through his talent and love of cricket, I feel that I did know him. 29 years ago I played my first game of cricket and feel in love with it and every year since that passion has just kept growing and growing. My personal tribute today is to lead my boys with pride, passion and character. I am proud to be your captain, I am proud to be your team mate and I am proud that the game of cricket has given me the 10 blokes that are in this room with me.
Lets unite as one, continue our winning streak and set up our season by playing out of our skin for Phillip Hughes.
Cheers boys, see you in the middle.
Blackburn Souths vs Koonung Heights tribute