Minute’s silence to be held in honour of Phil Hughes
Regional players will hold a minute’s silence prior to the start of the third round of matches in the regional first class championship which bowls off tomorrow, and also wear black arm bands, as a mark of respect for Australian batsman Phil Hughes who died today.
This was announced by the West Indies Cricket Board yesterday as it paid tribute to the 25-year-old Hughes, who died in Sydney hospital days after being struck in the head by a bouncer during a domestic game in Australia.
Hughes never regained consciousness after collapsing at the crease.
“It was with a sense of shock and sorrow that we learned of the death of Philip Hughes and I know that these feelings are shared by all who knew him and played with or against him,” said WICB President Dave Cameron.
“There is little one can say at such a time, but we would like to express our very sincere sympathy to his family, friends and all those involved with the game in Australia.
“This is truly a tragic loss of a fantastic young player who promised to deliver so much for Australia and who has already done so much in proving his pedigree as a top flight batsman on the international stage.”
Cameron added: “To honour the memory of our fallen colleague and show solidarity with our friends in Australia, we have asked that a minute’s silence be observed prior to the start of all matches in the third round of the WICB Professional Cricket League Regional Four-Day Tournament tomorrow –– and that all players and match officials wear a black armband during the match.”
Hughes played 26 Tests and scored 1535 runs at an average of 32, with three centuries. In 35 one-dayers, he managed 826 runs at an average of 35 with two centuries.
The left-hander never faced West Indies in a Test but gathered 159 runs in four ODIs against the Caribbean side at an average of nearly 40, when they toured Down Under last year.
Hughes’s death has cast a dark pall over the cricketing world and has overshadowed the latest round of the WICB Professional Cricket League.
Barbados Pride, the defending champions, will hope to kickstart their campaign when they take on high-flying leaders Guyana Jaguars at the National Stadium at Providence.
Rain has wrecked Barbados’ early progress in the tournament, with both their games to date finishing in tame draws because of interventions by the weather.
In the opening round, rain allowed just 14.4 overs on the final day of their contest against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force with a possible victory on the cards at Queen’s Park Oval. And in the last round against Jamaica Franchise, rain forced the complete abandonment of the first three days.
The setbacks have left Barbados In fourth on 12 points and with much to do to make up ground.
However, both sides will be looking to forge ahead in the tournament with Guyana looking to extend their lead and Barbados anxious to land an elusive first victory.
History favours the visitors. They have won six of the last 13 matches against the home team in the last decade including a 136-run victory earlier this year at the same venue.
Like many of the teams around the League, both have had to replace key players that will leave this weekend for West Indies duty in South Africa.
Barbados have reinforced their line-up with the experienced duo of left-handed all-rounder Ryan Hinds and fast bowler Tino Best, as well as batsman Roston Chase in place of Kraigg Brathwaite, Kemar Roach and Sulieman Benn.
All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, the West Indies “A” team captain will take over the reins of leadership from his namesake.
Guyana have brought in teenaged openers Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Shimron Hetmyer to replace veteran West Indies left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Assad Fudadin, while Vishaul Singh has been chosen to replace another left-hander Johnson not only in the squad, but as captain.
In Port of Spain, second-placed T&T and third-placed Jamaica will do battle while St George’s, Windwards Volcanoes and the Leewards Franchise will look to kick-start their season following defeats in their first two matches.