Adelaide Test, Australia v India – Day One: Tributes

What a traumatic fortnight for the game I love so much. The tragic passing of Phillip Hughes still doesn’t seem real. How can that happen? I was in shock when a mate broke the news to me on that Thursday afternoon. I was on my way to cricket training. Raf Epstein was confirming the news on the radio. I had to pull over. Twitter was full of tributes. Training was a chore that night. We were all flat. Was the game worth it?

I had no choice. As coach of my club’s Under  13 team I was back there Friday night as we hosted Mortlake’s Under  13 team. We did the minute silence after I said a few words about Hughes and his Test career and about how it was a freak accident in a largely very safe game to play. My team won their first game of the season.


Pomborneit & Mortlake Under 13 players line up to honour Phil Hughes


Back at home on the Saturday for the first day of our two day game against local rivals, the Camperdown based Bookaar CC. After the pre-game tribute delivered by our injured bowling spearhead BJ Hillman and a minute silence, we batted first and were all out for 171. Not a bouncer delivered by Bookaar. We had them 3/33 at stumps.



Pomborneit & Bookaar Division 1 players during their minute silence to honour Phil Hughes


On to the Sunday and the Under 16’s, who I also coach, made the trip to the Cobden Recreation Reserve for our match against the home team. Cobden’s President Glen Cain made a wonderful speech before the minute silence. Normally Under 16 players must retire when they reach 50. On that day the retiring score was 63. One Cobden player achieved that feat. We were well beaten.



Cobden CC President Glen Cain addresses the Pomborneit & Cobden Under 16’s


The outpouring of grief touched everyone. The tributes from other sports were amazing. The A-League in particular were superb, with their pre-game tributes and crowd applause during the 63rd minute of games. Phillip Hughes’ funeral was broadcast sympathetically by Channel 9. Michael Clarke spoke wonderfully. The whole nation and the worldwide cricket community were with him.

The decision to delay the First Test was the right one. But getting back on the field today was important. Not only for the Test players but also the 6 Sheffield Shield teams who all returned to action. The game, and life, goes on. It simply has to.

The tributes continued at Phil Hughes adopted home on Day 1 of the Adelaide Test. The 63 seconds of applause before the game was spine tingling. David Warner’s emotion at reaching 50, 63 and 100. What a wonderful  10th  Test match ton from the New South Welshman. Long may he continue to bat the way he does. Clarke looked skywards upon reaching 37. He’d completed Hughes’ final knock. The skipper was batting beautifully until his back went on 60. He had to play here. His future is very much up in the air.

Steve Smith continues his great form. Is he ready for extra responsibility? Could he captain and bat at 4? Probably, he keeps meeting every challenge. Rogers and Watson would be disappointed with their dismissals. The surprising and strange decision to send in Nathan Lyon as nightwatchman to protect Haddin backfired. Then Haddin fell quickly. Was sending in Lyon before himself Haddin’s call? The two 37 year olds in the team can’t afford too many failures. We’ve given India an opening. The question remains as to whether they are good enough to make the most of it in Australian conditions. The glorious uncertainty of Test cricket. It’s great to have you back.

After reaching 4/84 in pursuit of our 171, we bowled Bookaar out for 107 on  Saturday. Our off-spinner Matt Bignell took 6/40. I took 3/15 at the other end. No bouncers from us. I don’t bowl anywhere near fast enough. We had a second dig. We received several bouncers. That’s good. Back to normal. Saturday felt like a normal cricket day. We remember Phillip Hughes. We always will. As life and cricket go on. The game is definitely worth it.

The other highlight today: Sean Abbott 15/3/53/2

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Luke- poignant, sparse prose. Befitting. Weaving your recent local cricket experiences with yesterday’s Test action reminds us our our connectedness. Thanks.

  2. You’re walking it, and continue to walk the walk, Luke.
    Well played yet again.

  3. Thanks Luke, for another well written article. Does anyone know whose call it was to send in Lyon. It’s cost us 2 wickets !


  4. Great tribute Luke. Love the way you people go about your cricket in Pomborneit

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Luke poetic and you really don’t have enough cricket involvement in your life !
    ( I reckon your worse ( or better ! ) than me

  6. Fanatsic Luke teh tributes worldwide have been incredible Mile Jedinak, Put your bats out and a special mention to the Kiwis and Mcullum. I am sure he is watching proudly as his team does the nation proud.

  7. I’ve actually been staggered by the tributes to Phillip Hughes. It obviously touched a nerve. Out of his unsettling passing will come good – it might provide a defibrillator to the heart of cricket. Perhaps those running the game will be reminded of what is important. The sum of all cricket’s parts (Tests, 50 over games, 20/20s) do not make up the game if the soul is neglected.

    Even my Mum went out to the old shed, found an old bat and put it at her front door. And she is no cricket fan. But she is a watcher of people.

    Great stuff Luke.

  8. Despite everything – tragedy, disappointment, sorrow, grieving – there will always be cricket, Luke.

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