Phillip Hughes to be honoured with state memorial service at Sydney Cricket Ground

State memorials in Australia are normally only held for political figures

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The Independent Online

The nation will be afforded the chance to pay their official respects to Phillip Hughes when he is honoured with a state memorial service at Sydney Cricket Ground next week.

The Australian cricketer died earlier this week after suffering a horrific injury. He was hit in the head with a ball at the same stadium and passed away in hospital.

State memorials in the country are normally only held for political figures.

However, Mike Baird, the New South Wales Premier, has confirmed that Hughes  – who was just 25 at his time of death – will be granted the same privilege.

“This service has been arranged in consultation with Phillip’s family, and it will be an opportunity for the entire community to pay their respects to a much-loved Australian and New South Welshman,” Baird said in a statement.

 

His sudden and tragic death sparked an international outpouring of grief.

The Daily Telegraph in Sydney blacked out their entire front page, leaving only a picture of Hughes in his honour, while household names from the world of sport and celebrity took to Twitter in their droves to pay their respects using the hashtag #putoutyourbats.

Former England spinner Graeme Swann, West Indies great Sir Viv Richards and cricket fan Piers Morgan were among those who commented on his passing.

They were accompanied by similar messages of support for Sean Abbott – the bowler who bowled the bouncer which hit Hughes on the back, lower left side of his head and ultimately killed him.

“May those footprints in the sand now support another young man in need. #SeanAbbott,” former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist tweeted.

The official Cricket Australia Twitter feed added: “The strength of the cricket family is more important than ever on this incredibly sad day. Please keep Sean Abbott in your thoughts.

“I know what Sean is going through,” England bowler David Lawrence, who hit West Indies batsman Phil Simmons with a delivery that almost killed him in 1988, told BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday.

“My thoughts go out to him. I don’t think he’ll play cricket again.”

“To bowl a ball that has resulted in somebody dying has got to be absolutely devastating,” Matthew Hoggard, another former England cricketer, said.

“Hopefully he can get the support around him and find the strength to carry on.”

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