Sydney, Nov 29: Paying an emotional tribute to Phil Hughes, captain Michael Clarke today said the Australian dressing room will never be the same without their team-mate, who had a "cheeky grin" and "twinkle in his eye".
Hughes passed away after being hit by a bouncer on his head during a domestic game. Efforts mere made to revive him but he never regained consciousness. He was only 25. (Australia retire Hughes ODI jersey)
"Words cannot express the loss we all feel as a team right now," Clarke said in a statement on behalf of the Australian team. To Greg, Virginia, Jason and Megan, we share in the deep pain that you're feeling."
Clarke shared how passionate Hughes was for the game of cricket. "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 into perspective when Hughesy said, 'Where else would you rather be boys but playing cricket for your country?'
"We are going to miss that cheeky grin and that twinkle in his eye. He epitomised what the baggy green is about and what it means to us all," he said. (Cricketers who died due to on-field injuries)
Clarke said world cricket has become poorer with the loss of Hughes. "The world lost one of its great blokes this week and we are all poorer for it. Our promise to the Hughes family is that we will do everything we can to honour his memory. Clarke also said that Cricket Australia has agreed to his request to retire Hughes' ODI jersey shirt number 64." (Tragic end of Raman Lamba)
"It 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, Brussy," he concluded.