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Hughes remembered at 1st Australia-India test

December 9, 2014

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — From the flowers that lined the Southern Plaza of Adelaide Oval to the “408” painted on the grass, Phillip Hughes was remembered and revered at the first Australia-India test on Tuesday.

Hughes was in line to play in the test, but died 12 days ago in hospital after being hit in the head by a short-pitched delivery in a domestic match.

The test was delayed for four days to allow the Australia team to mourn, and memories of Hughes were everywhere on a sunny day in Adelaide.

He was the honorary 13th man in Australia’s lineup, and featured in a short video tribute by former Australia captain and commentator Richie Benaud.

Australia players wore No. 408 — Hughes’ test cap number — with black armbands on their shirts, and there was 63 seconds of applause in his honor. Hughes, aged 25, was not out on 63 runs when he was fatally injured at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

India also wore black armbands, hundreds in the crowd also sported the number 63 on their shirts or hats, and others held up “63 Not Out” signs provided by a local daily newspaper.

David Warner, who was playing at the SCG the day Hughes sustained his fatal injury, scored 145 runs to lead Australia to 354-6, and dedicated his 10th test century to Hughes. Warner also stopped and looked up to the sky when he was on 63 runs, and the crowd applauded.

“It was quite tough there early on with the 63-second applause, and getting through that national anthem,” Warner said. “That’s where it probably set me off a little bit inside. But I knew the little man up there was with me at the other end and it all fell into place.”

Warner said Hughes would have been “laughing at me about all the support and all the people that sent their messages.”

“I don’t think he would have himself believed the amount of support that he has had from not just around Australia but around the world. He would probably be quite embarrassed actually.”

Hughes, born in Macksville, New South Wales, where his funeral was held last week, played most recently for South Australia state, and was a popular member of the Adelaide-based team.

He played 26 tests for Australia since his debut in 2009, but despite a strong start to his international career at 19, he was not able to earn a regular spot in the starting lineup. He was on the verge of another test recall when he lost his life.

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