Philip Hughes: 'It's a real reminder to everyone how precious life is,' says Alastair Cook

A sombre England captain gave a thoughtful press conference

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As the cricket world mourns the tragic death of Phillip Hughes, in Colombo Alastair Cook and his England side face the difficult prospect of taking to the field to resume their one day series with Sri Lanka.

The terrible events of the week have suddenly rendered all the usual pre-match concerns massively trivial, instead the players must try and get on with a sport that now seems very different indeed.

As light rain fell at the Premadasa Stadium, a very sombre Cook gave a thoughtful press conference laced with a healthy dose of perspective on the reality of being a professional cricketer.

“It's a real reminder to everyone how precious life is and how lucky we are to be playing cricket,” he said. “This is a real reminder to everyone that we can't take anything for granted.”

 

As Twitter tributes to Hughes poured in from around the world, the England team joined in, a row of bats with caps perched on top lining the outside wall of their dressing room.

While, after debate between the two sides, it was decided the match would go ahead, Cook revealed that it will be up to individuals to decide whether or not they wanted to play and that Moeen Ali, Steven Finn and Eoin Morgan, all former team-mates of Hughes, had access to ‘support networks’.

If the rain holds off tomorrow to allow any play, there will no doubt be an unusual air to proceedings as both sets of players try to comprehend something so shocking happening in a sport usually regarded as rather sedate.

Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews was equally sensitive in his briefing to the press, full of praise for the ‘gentleman’ Hughes.

“I hope and pray we will never hear of an incident like this again in cricket,” he said.

For the players and fans alike, there can be no harsher reminder that cricket is a just a game, one that perhaps will never quite be the same again.

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