Cricket Australia joins #PutOutYourBats

CA puts 63 bats on display in headquarters as world joins in symbolic gesture for fallen batsman

Dave Middleton

28 November 2014, 12:03 PM AEST

Cricket Australia placed 63 bats in the front windows of its Jolimont headquarters in tribute to fallen batsman Phillip Hughes.

The gesture, symbolic of the score that Hughes was on when he was injured on Tuesday while batting for South Australia, was part of a global social media tribute movement to recognise Hughes.

Hughes died on Thursday, the tragic result of an extremely rare injury suffered after he was struck by a delivery in the Sheffield Shield game against NSW at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

That venue today had become the focal point for mourning cricketers, with the Australian Test team and many other teammates and friends and members of the Hughes family gathered.

The #PutOutYourBats social media campaign went global, with tributes flooding in from all walks of life sharing images of their cricket bats placed in back gardens or by their front door on social media.

Images from all cricket-playing nations flooded onto social media, from grieving friends and shocked individuals with a love of the game, they were all united by their desire to pay respect.

Flags flew at half-mast at grounds around Australia and the world, including Lord's where Hughes played county cricket with Middlesex for a short while in 2009.

Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland said the "personal and touching tributes" had been greatly appreciated by cricket family.

"In a community cricket sense we've recommended to clubs and associations that there be a minute's silence before each day's play and players wear black armbands this weekend.

"I know some clubs plan to paint Phillip's Baggy Green number 408 into the grass on their oval.

"In junior club cricket we've recommended where the retirement score is traditionally 50, this weekend the retiremenet score will be 63."

"We thank people for those tributes."

The #PutOutYourBats campaign was started by Sydney man Paul Taylor, who tweeted a simple picture of his bat just after 4pm yesterday, shortly after the news had broken. 

Taylor deflected attention, tweeting a statement: "To those asking to talk to me. Thank you, but no thank you. #PutOutYourBats isn't about me. It's just a way for all cricketers to show their respects to Phillip Hughes. 

"We've all played cricket in one way or other. Backyard or beach cricket, no matter what level we've all grown up with a bat and ball. This is our way to connect and show our sadness. Thoughts also must go to Sean Abbott. Thank you."

Post by MyCricket.

From Macksville to Lord's to Mumbai, cricketers, friends and fans around the world have mourned the death of Hughes.

A single cricket bat rested against the SCG members' entrance gate. "RIP P Hughes, 63NO Forever," a note read.

Other flowers, cards and the Australian flag have been left at the Moore Park site, while Hughes's grieving teammates Michael Clarke and David Warner were seen entering the Cricket NSW offices on Friday morning.

"Phil, you were with your mates doing what you love on the greatest ground in the world," one card read.

"May you live on in the hearts and minds of your family, friends and fans forever."

On the other side of the world, English fans also left bundles of flowers and flags flew at half mast at Lord's.

English batsman Nick Compton - who lived with Hughes in London and played grade cricket with him in Sydney - delivered a heart-breaking farewell on Twitter.

"Never has someone had such an impact on my life, my career, my outlook. Devastated and upset," he wrote.

A shrine has also been set up for the young Australian in Karachi in Pakistan.

His loss robs the sport of a unique and unfulfilled talent, former Australia captain Steve Waugh said.

"There was something about him - he had that fire in the belly," he told Macquarie Radio on Friday.

"You could see it in his eyes, he loved playing Test match cricket."

#Putoutyourbats #RIPPhillipHughes #forever63notout

A photo posted by Jess Cameron (@camo1989) on

Miss ya mate. Always in my heart champion! #putyourbatsout#missyoubruz#63notout

A photo posted by Mitchell Johnson (@mitchjohnson398) on

#putoutyourbats #RIPPhillipHughes. @anna_lanning

A photo posted by Meg Lanning (@meglanning7) on