Australian opening batsman David Warner says the tragic loss of Phillip Hughes still haunts him every time he sees a batsman struck on the head by a cricket ball.
Warner was standing at gully when Hughes was felled by a bouncer at the SCG in a Bupa Sheffield Shield match last month, with the 25-year-old passing away two days later.
A scare went through the Australian camp Wednesday when all-rounder Shane Watson was hit on the helmet by a James Pattinson bouncer in the MCG nets. Watson was visibly shaken up, as was fast bowler Pattinson, and both players immediately left the nets.
The blow brought back memories of Hughes’ fatal blow, and Warner says the incident will remain with him for the rest of his career and beyond.
“I know myself 100 percent as I was real close with Phil and I was out there the day of it,” Warner was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia (CA) website.
“I was on the medi cab (when Hughes was taken off the ground), so it’s going to be in the back of my mind every time I play.
“Every time I sit at home (I’m) thinking (about) nothing but that. For us we’ve got to keep pushing on, he would want us to do that. “I know when I got out in the middle he’s always going to be there at the other end.”
Watson batted Wednesday in the nets but didn’t face any of the Australian pace bowlers who are vying for a Boxing Day Test spot, but Warner says that isn’t out of the ordinary.
“A lot of us like to prepare differently. I’m the first person to put my hand up to say I don’t face our quicks as much,” said Warner.
“It’s about feeling bat on ball and getting your feet right for the game. He’s practicing as well as I’ve seen him. He’d like a bit more runs than he has been (scoring).
“It’s going to happen here and there. That’s part of cricket,” Warner said on the rising number of training injuries.
“You go 12 months without someone getting hit in the nets then all of a sudden you have three or four in one net session and that’s cricket.”