Hampshire join tribute

Hampshire's tribute to former player Phil Hughes
Hampshire's tribute to former player Phil Hughes
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Sam Northeast during the press conference at the Ageas Bowl on Friday. Picture: www.davevokes.photography

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Hampshire have joined the extraordinary phenomenon in paying a moving tribute to their former player Phil Hughes.

The 25-year-old Australian batsman had a short spell with the club back in 2010 but died in a tragic accident earlier this week when he was struck by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield clash in Sydney.

His death has provoked huge shock and sympathy worldwide and a simple visual representation has allowed many to express their grief and solidarity.

The phenomenon started when Paul Taylor, from Sydney, tweeted a picture of a cricket bat and baggy blue cap leaning on the wall outside his house using the hashtag #putoutyourbats.

But that simple mark of respect has captured the sombre mood of the Australian nation and beyond.

Professional cricketers and amateurs alike have paid their respects, while some have joined in by simply finding an old bat in the corner of their shed.

Hughes’ number 29 Hampshire shirt from his spell was on display at the Ageas Bowl yesterday and placed in his regular spot in the home dressing room.

A Hampshire spokesman said: ‘We just wanted to play our small part in the global tribute.

‘Phil may have only played five games for us but he made a big impression on everyone at the club.

‘He was part of the Hampshire family.

‘He was a big character and everyone at Hampshire wanted to pay our respects.’