We love him and always will: Clarke

Michael Clarke reads a statement on behalf of the Australia cricket team

An emotional Michael Clarke has made a tearful tribute to Phillip Hughes on behalf of the Australian cricket team.

Clarke regularly paused as he held back tears during a moving statement to the media at the Sydney Cricket Ground this morning.

The Australia skipper was considered an “older brother” to Hughes, who passed away on Thursday.

Clarke revealed that Hughes’s one-day international shirt number 64 has been retired by Cricket Australia as a tribute to the left-hander.

Michael Clarke statement:

“Words cannot express the loss we all feel as a team right now,” Clarke said.

“To Greg, Virginia, Jason and Megan we are sharing the deep pain that you are feeling.

“Apart from when he was home on the farm with his beloved cattle, Hughesy was at his happiest playing cricket for his country with his mates.

“Things were always put in perspective when Hughesy said: ‘Where else would you rather be, boys, but playing cricket for your country.

“We’re going to miss that cheeky grin and the twinkle in his eye.

“He epitomised what the Baggy Green is about and what it means to us all.

“The world lost one of its great blokes this week and we are all poorer for it.

“Our promise to Hughesy’s family is that we will do everything we can to honour his memory.

“Last night I asked Cricket Australia if Hughesy’s one-day international shirt number, 64, could be retired, to which they agreed. That means so much.

“His legacy of trying to improve each and every day will drive us for the rest of our lives.

“We’d like to thank everyone both here and overseas for the touching tributes to Hughesy in recent days.

“Our dressing-room will never be the same. We loved him and always will. Rest in peace, bruzzy”