A bronze memorial plaque to the late cricketer Phillip Hughes has been installed at the top of the stairs to the SCG’s home team dressing room on the eve of Australia’s fourth and final test against India, starting in Sydney on Tuesday.
The plaque features a small bust of Hughes and recounts the cricket career of “the boy from Macksville” before concluding “”Hughes faced his last ball on 25 November 2014, playing for South Australia against NSW at the SCG.
“His death two days later united the sporting world in grief, with Cricket Australia declaring him 63 not out forever – his final score at the SCG.”
The position means players will see it as they enter and leave the field.
Australian opening batsman Dave Warner, who was fielding not far from Hughes when he was struck by a rising ball from Sean Abbott, said on Sunday that it was a great thing that the plaque was there, but it would be emotional.
“Just walking out there today just brought back memories. It is always going to be in the back of my mind, no matter what… every time I’ve got nothing on my mind I’m going to be thinking about it,” he said.
Warner said he’s unsure how he’s going to feel until he walks out on the field and sings the national anthem.
“I know when I walk out there and go to face-up at that Randwick end, I know I’m going to be looking down at that spot,” he said. “It’s going to be tough, but I’ve got to hold back the emotions and try to do what I do for the team, and that’s to score runs.”
Members of Hughes’s family will attend the Sydney test. His mother and sister were at the SCG watching the Sheffield Shield game.
Injured captain Michael Clarke, a close friend of Hughes, was at the SCG today when it was installed and current captain Steve Smith said the plaque would provide inspiration.
“Hughes was one of us, he was one of our good mates, so I think particularly this week it’s going to be great to be able to walk past that and see the little fella there and give us a little inspiration as we’re going out onto the field,” he said.
There’s one change to the Australian team after Mitchell Johnson ruled out of the final Test on Sunday when he couldn’t recover in time from hamstring soreness sustained during the Melbourne test. NSW player Mitchell Starc replaces him for the 24-year-old’s 15th test since his 2011 debut.
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