Sean Abbott: Time to move on

Well, It was just another day of cricket where two champion teams of Australian domestic cricket were up against each other. Young and energetic Sean Abbott was bowling and Phillip Hughes was on strike. As a routine activity, Sean bowled a bouncer but Phillip couldn’t judge its line and length. The mistake proved fatal and the ball hit behind his neck. He fell on the ground and was rushed to the hospital but he succumbed to the injury and died in the hospital in Sydney on the third day. It is really sad that despite the best efforts of doctors, the life of a 25-year old bright cricketer could not be saved. As the news of his passing away broke, the whole world was curious to know who hit him. Till the time Phil remained alive under medical treatment, no one was really bothered, but as soon as the death of Phil was confirmed by the media, Sean Abbott was brought back to the limelight. The news of this mishap got extensive coverage worldwide, featuring unnecessary stories on Abbott and his role in the tragedy. However, the world of sports came out in his favor. From Michael Clarke to former cricketers, the support for Abbott kept pouring in. A visibly upset Abbott was comforted by the family of late Phil Hughes - especially by the sister of Phil. The role of Cricket Australia needs to be applauded as they have extended a hand of support to Sean Abbott in the hour of need.

An unintentional act

The 22 year old Australian bowler had no intention of hitting Phillip Hughes and it was not an intentional act. In fact, in this ever increasing competitive era of cricket, every cricketer tries to give his best to secure a place in the national team. This is what Sean Abbott was trying to do on that tragic day. Many ignorant people who are not aware about the basic rules and regulations of the game, have held Abbott responsible in some or the other way which is wrong. I still remembered one of my friend telling me that judiciary proceedings should be initiated against the bowler. How insane is that? As a remedial step and to prevent such incidents in future, the ICC should start some work on the designs of the helmets and make sure that there remains no compromise in imposing a strict benchmark as far as the helmet worn by the professional cricketers is concerned.

Time to look ahead

Sport is a mere refection of life. It allows us to express joy, sorrow, nervousness and tension, in equal measure. A cricketer jumps in joy after scoring a century or taking an important wicket. A footballer runs towards his teammates after scoring a goal while a tennis star screams after failing to win a point. These are some ways of brining our emotions out in the competitive world. Like the good and hurtful emotions, the world of sports is famous for giving rude shocks as well. Any life cut short by a freak incident is a tragedy but any such incident in sport gives rise to an increased emotional trauma as it is more often witnessed by the millions on their TV screens. When Hughes died, it brought an extraordinary outpouring of emotions across the globe and it is absolutely right. After watching the incident on social networking sites, the fans felt more closely associated with it. Like life, sports too moves on and because the above mentioned incident was part of life, it is better to look ahead as sitting and grieving won’t help anyone. The dead move on faster than the living creatures as they are either buried or burnt. It is high time to support those who have felt the loss and are living with it. Sean Abbott recently made a comeback to cricket after overcoming the trauma and spotlight following Hughes death. Abbott was handed the ball in the 13th over on the first day of a four-day match between his New South Wales state side and Queensland at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Showing little emotion, he sent down four dot balls before a short-pitched delivery that sailed well over ducking Queensland batsman Joe Burns in his first over of the first innings. He accounted for two wickets in the first inning which showed that he had started enjoying his professional life once again. Abbott was not finished as his second inning spell gave NSW a dramatic Sheffield Shield victory against Queensland at the SCG. The all-rounder tore through the visitors’ middle order to return with 6-14 from a remarkable spell at the ground where just over few weeks ago his bouncer led to the death of Phillip Hughes. At one point he was on a hat-trick after removing Chris Hartley and Cameron Brimblecombe with consecutive balls but missed out when Luke Feldman survived the next ball. A result looked unlikely going into the final day after New South Wales began the day still in the middle on 6-386 in reply to Queensland’s 268 in the first inning. They were eventually dismissed for 447 with an 179 run lead during the morning session. But Abbott’s bowling saw Queensland skittled out for 99 to secure an innings and 80 runs victory for NSW. This is good for him as cricket has always acted as a healer and for someone like him, it was needed. Tall and strongly built, Abbott has a bright future ahead of him. He has already represented Australia in the shorter formats of the game and who knows he could be heading towards Test team in the near future. The best way to remember and pay tribute to Phillip Hughes is by playing cricket and this is what Sean Abbott has done. It would be great if he continues to garner more support as this is needed for him in the near future. For rest of the world as well, the show must go on.

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