Feeling for Phil Hughes

I’m feeling really flat about Phil Hughes today, I can’t imagine how his family must be feeling. I hope we hear good news soon.

It’s the same feeling I had in 2005 when Nathan Brown badly broke both bones in his leg playing at Telstra Dome. It just looked so bad. I became consumed by worry for Brown and completely lost interest in the rest of the game (and the season). I remember wondering if he would ever walk again. All the fans there that night felt the same. The rest of the game sounded more like The Malthouse Theatre than Telstra Dome.

I forgot about it for a while until last year when I visited the Colosseum in Rome. I walked around, listening to the audio guide describe gory details of the events that were held there. Did Roman ‘fans’ experience that same sinking feeling I did when a prisoner was mauled by a wild beast? I wondered if my Tigers mate Munce and I would have tottered off to the Colosseum on saturday afternoons to witness these brutal murders if we had been born in 50 AD…

We enjoyed watching Mitchell Johnson maul the English batsmen last summer at the MCG. I recall shouting ‘he S@#t himself!’ at one stage during the boxing day test match when one of the English middle order batsmen cowered from a Mitchell Johnson thunderbolt. How far evolved am I from a blood thirsty Roman?

Luckily, I have modern day sports administrators to protect me from myself. They are not like Roman emperors. They regulate games to protect the competitors from serious injuries. I understand it but I resist it. I’m an idiot. I want to see athletes thrown to the lions then I feel terrible remorse when they are seriously injured. I forget that they are people and not gladiators. I forget that they have brothers and sisters, wives and children.

I love Test cricket and I’m not suggesting that the bouncer needs to be outlawed or that we should be using a half taped tennis ball instead of the kookaburra (although I wouldn’t be opposed to this idea), I just somehow feel guilty I guess.

All I can do is pray for Phil Hughes and promise not to sledge the Indian batsmen this summer. Facing a 145km/hr Mitchell Johnson bouncer takes courage and they deserve some respect.


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