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CA names Hughes 13th man of Australian squad

Cricket Australia

Adelaide, Dec 8 (PTI) In a touching tribute to the late Phillip Hughes, Cricket Australia today named him the 13th man of the national squad for the opening Test against India and promised a range of tributes to honour his memory in what is likely to be an emotional match starting here tomorrow.

Hughes passed away last month after being hit by a bouncer at the back of his skull during a domestic game. His death stunned the cricket world and left the national team distraught.

Skipper Michael Clarke, who considered Hughes his little brother, broke down publicly while paying his tributes to the batsman and has been under tremendous emotional stress owing to the tragedy.

To honour the young batsman’s memory, the Australian team will wear his Test cap number, 408, on their shirts and a range of tributes are being planned around his final score of 63 not out.

Australia’s Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove praised the side for holding up under Clarke’s “outstanding” leadership.

Cosgrove addressed the team here and told the players that “for this Test team, there will always be a 13th man (Hughes) by your side”.

Besides, Cricket Australia has planned a video tribute to Hughes, narrated by Richie Benaud, which would be played at the Adelaide Oval big screen.

Players and fans have been requested to give a 63-second applause instead of a minute’s silence observed traditionally in the face of a tragedy.

“With the international season re-commencing on Tuesday, it is appropriate to pause once more and honour a modest hero who thrilled the nation and, in so doing, won an enduring place in our hearts,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland was quoted as saying by ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’.

“We hope that the cricket community can come together to join the Australian and Indian teams in the pre-match tribute. This is an opportunity for those that embraced him so fondly to say goodbye.

“We hope that followers of the game will make their way to Adelaide Oval to pay tribute to Phillip and support the Australian team at a difficult time,” he added.

Apart from this, Australian actor Jack Thompson will read out a poem — 63 not out — in another video tribute to Hughes. The poem has been written by cricket.com.au’s deputy news editor Adam Burnett.

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