Image courtesy of: Fox Sports
In his tribute to batsman Phillip Hughes, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting stated “I wish I could pick up the phone and give him a call now”.
Hughes tragically passed away at the age of 25 when he was struck on the side of the neck by a bouncer from New South Wales pace bowler Sean Abbott.
Ponting recalled how, at the age of 20, Hughes became the youngest player to score a century in each innings of a Test match. Hughes achieved that feat during his second Test for Australia, which came against South Africa in Durban in March 2009.
“Dale (Steyn), Morne Morkel and Makhaya Ntini can be pretty threatening and they were going hard with the ball and a bit of verbal,” Ponting wrote in his column for News Corp. “I thought I’d better go down there and check how he was but, before I got there, he looked up and grinned at me. ‘I’m absolutely loving this’, he said.
“It’s been hard to smile this week. But when we were at the hospital, there were a lot of stories told and they cheered me up.”
Ponting also reminisced about another touching story involving the “country boy…(who) wasn’t too familiar with the ways of the world”.
“He stuffed up big time in England on his first trip there,” Ponting wrote. “He just kept using his Australian mobile to roam the internet, [and] make calls.
“I can’t remember if his bill was $26,000 or $36,000 but I know it was so much that he had to work it off by doing commercial appearances for the phone company.
“I wish I could pick up the phone and give him a call now.”