Thousands Of Cricket Fans Around The World Joined The #putoutyourbats Tribute For Phillip Hughes Last Night

England’s cricketers paid tribute to Phillip Hughes yesterday. Picture: Getty Images

A wonderful tribute to Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, who died on Thursday after being struck by a ball during a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG, went global last night.

Yesterday, even search giant Google made space for its own #putoutyourbats tribute:

It was started by Sydney dad Paul Taylor at 5.01pm Thursday:

“#Putoutyourbats isn’t about me,” he wrote on Twitter.

“It’s just a way for all cricketers to show their respects to Phillip Hughes. We’ve all played cricket in one way or other. Backyard or beach cricket, no matter what level, we’ve all grown up with a bat and ball.

“This is our way to connect and show our sadness.”

Twitter marketing platform Socialbro monitored the hashtag. They said it took about 12 hours to lift off, but when it did, around 4600 people were joining in each hour.

The tag peaked at 9pm last night with 10,400 tweeting #putoutyourbats in one hour – nearly three every second.

In the 24 hours to 5am today, 112,000 people had tweeted #putoutyourbats, the vast majority of them accompanying pictures of their cherished willow propped up outside the front door or in the back yard.

Socialbro said the potential audience of the hashtag was 497.14 million Twitterers.

The tribute spread to cricket grounds around the world, where some of the most moving shows were on display:

Australia (18,700 tweets), UK (17,900) and India (8600) led the show of support.

Other hashtags used to pay respect to the sportman have also caught on including #408, #63notout and #ripphilliphughes.

Today Australia’s cricket captain, and mentor to Hughes, Michael Clarke paid his own respects to the 25-year-old who would have celebrated his 26th birthday tomorrow.

“Words cannot express the loss we all feel as a team right now. To Greg, Virginia, Jason and Megan [Hughes], we share in the deep pain that you’re feeling,” Clarke said.

“The world lost one of its great blokes this week and we are all poorer for it. Our promise to Hughes’s family is that we will do everything we can to honour his memory.”

The profound impact Hughes death has had on the cricketing community in Australian, and internationally, is evident but the reaction on networking channels.

It’s really one of the most remarkable things that’s ever happened on social media.

Here’s the five most retweeted

1. Sachin Tendulkar – 5881 retweets

2. Arsenal FC – 3456 retweets

3. England Cricket – 2775 retweets

4. cricket.com.au – 2067 retweets

5. Adam Gilchrist – 1490 retweets

And just some of the other thousands of photos people have shared.

The BLACKCAPS have #putyourbatsout in Sharjah ahead of today's play.

A photo posted by BLACKCAPS (@blackcapsnz) on

Many matches were suspended for a day’s play yesterday to mark Hughes’s passing. Cricket Australia announced junior cricketers today would wear black armbands and mark a minute’s silence.

NSW Premier Mike Baird announced a state memorial service will be held for Hughes at the SCG on Thursday.

(H/T to ” target=”_blank”>SocialBro for helping compile this post.)

NOW READ: Phillip Hughes’ Death, And The Special Place Of Cricket In Australian Life

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