Michael Clarke breaks down while paying tribute to Phillip Hughes

  • Agencies, Sydney
  • Updated: Nov 30, 2014 09:49 IST

Captain Michael Clarke gave a graphic illustration of the raw emotions of the Australia team when he broke down repeatedly while paying tribute to former teammate Phillip Hughes on Saturday.

Making no mention of next week's Test match against India, Clarke battled to hold back tears as he read out a statement on behalf of the players at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where Hughes suffered his fatal injury on Tuesday.

Hughes, 25, died on Thursday as the result of a catastrophic injury he sustained when struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match, triggering a wave of mourning in Australia and around the world.

"Words cannot express the loss we feel as a team right now," Clarke said. "We are going to miss that cheeky grin and that twinkle in his eye. He epitomised what the Baggy Green was 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."

Clarke, widely praised for the role he has played in comforting his friend and former teammate's family, said the players had requested that Cricket Australia retire Hughes's one-day international number, 64.

"They agreed. That means so much," he added. "His legacy of trying to improve each and every day will drive us for the rest of our lives.

"Our dressing room will never be the same. We loved him and always will. Rest in peace bruzzy."

Hughes was not forgotten as Saturday morning cricket was played across the country in blazing sunshine as it has been for more than a century.

Cricket Australia has encouraged teams at all levels to remember Hughes and both the score he had accumulated when the fatal blow struck him, 63 not out, and his Test number, 408, were in evidence on pitches around the country.

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