I have my own personal relationship with Phillip Hughes. It’s probably different from yours.
I never met him in person, yet know him to be humble.
I never interviewed him on the phone, yet know how hard he worked on his game.
I am not related to him, yet he is my little brother. He will keep fighting and battling to get what he wants.
Phillip was not just a batsman. He was a run maker. A rare talent.
Batsmen follow the book. Technically sound. Look graceful.
Phillip was none of those.
He had his own way. The back foot stepping towards leg stump. The flash outside off.
His stats are on the public record. The typical cricket fan will use these to judge him. But they tell a partial story. A half finished book. One you stop reading just before you get to the really good chapters.
There should be stats for fighting spirit, courage, work ethic and respect.
These would show Phillip as one of the greats.
I am off to Brisbane on Thursday to watch the first ball of the 1st Test of the summer. I am entertaining clients.
Phil was meant to be there. Him batting. Me drinking. Eating. Laughing.
Enjoying Phillip down on one knee, playing shots in a way that others can’t. A method that they don’t teach in coaching clinics.
Well little brother, how am I meant to hold strong now?
I will cry when they hold a minutes silence for you. My clients will empathise, but they won’t really understand.
They won’t know about our relationship.
You didn’t even know the bloke!
Yeah I did. I knew you Phillip. I admired you.
You represented everything that Australians want to see in their men.
Traits that we respect.
Humble. Strong. Tenacious. Work Ethic.
I will never be able to say to your detractors ‘See, I told you so’.
Fate robbed us of that chance. But that’s ok mate.
You and I know how the story was going to play out.
They could only keep saying no for so long. We were going to convince them that saying yes was the only way forward.
63 Not Out was your final innings. Red ink. Unbeaten.
Phillip Hughes 1988 – Forever