Revealed: The touching way Mitchell Starc honoured his mate Phil Hughes in the World Cup final after the batter’s tragic death aged just 25
by: Hani Kamal El-Din
Mitchell Starc took the opportunity to pay tribute to his mate Phillip Hughes during Australia’s Cricket World Cup final win over India.
Fast bowler Starc, 33, wore a black armband with the initials ‘PH’ embroided in a mark of respect for the Australian batter who died after being struck on the head by a ball during a Sheffield Shield match in 2014.
He was just 25 years old and his death rocked the cricketing world, leading to sweeping changes in the design of helmets to better protect players.
Starc and many other members of the Australian team were close friends of Hughes and have regularly honoured him since his passing by wearing his Baggy Green number, 408, in various forms.
Left arm bowler Starc had an extra wind in his sails on Sunday as he answered Pat Cummins’ bold call to bowl first, taking the first wicket of the final in front of 130,000 fans.
Mitchell Starc honoured his close mate Phillip Hughes during the World Cup final
Starc wore a black armband with Hughes’s initials as Australia defeated India
His early wicket inspired Australia as they took three scalps inside the first 11 overs, with Glenn Maxwell’s removal of Rohit Sharma the turning point of the game.
The Aussies dedicated their 2015 World Cup triumph to Hughes, just a year on from his death.
Michael Clarke, then-captain of the team, also wore a black armband with Hughes’s initials.
‘As you can see it’s got PH on it. I’ll wear it every game I play for Australia,’ he said at the time.
‘I think for everybody in Australian cricket it’s been really tough few months.
‘I’m sure I don’t just speak for myself, I’m sure everybody standing on this stage tonight will say that we’ve played this World Cup with 16 players and tonight is certainly dedicated to our little brother and our team-mate Phillip Hughes.
‘Hughes used to party as good as any of them so I’ll make sure we drink two (beers) at a time tonight, one for Hughesy and one for us.’
Australia batter Hughes died in 2014 after being struck by a ball during a cricket match