Australia paid homage to late cricketer Phillip Hughes, who died after being struck on his neck by a bouncer five years ago, with former captain Steve Smith saying that the game seemed irrelevant the day the tragedy took place. Hughes was 25 when he was hit on the neck by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match in Sydney and died without regaining consciousness exactly five years ago. He was just three days short of his 26th birthday at the time.
"It was kind of a carefree week if that makes sense, cricket wise. It was sort of like, this is actually almost irrelevant in a way," Smith was quoted as saying by 'ESPNCricinfo'.
"You have little moments that come up every now and then, things that remind you of him and things like that. It comes up every now and then," he said. Another former captain and now retired Michael Clarke, who was a close friend of Hughes and was among the pall-bearers at his funeral, posted a short message on his Instagram page, paying tribute to Hughes.
"Everyday I think of you, but this week even more. Wish you were here buddy," he posted. Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said the country has felt Hughes' loss every day.
"Phillip Hughes was the very best of Australian cricket: a man dedicated to his family, a loyal friend, a popular teammate and a prodigiously talented cricketer," Roberts said.
"He remains in the hearts of players, coaches, staff, volunteers and fans across Australia and around the world. He always will," he added.