Sydney Cricket Ground’s Pitch No.7, the 22-yard strip on which Phillip Hughes fell after being fatally struck by a bouncer on head, has been retired.
The wicket square at the SCG has 10 pitches. Hughes received his fatal blow on pitch No 7 and fell face-forward.
He succumbed to the blow in the hospital a few days later, leaving the cricketing world in shock.
Curator Tom Parker told ‘The Australian’ that particular pitch on which Hughes was struck by a Sean Abbott bouncer
would be getting the cold shoulder for a while.
No batsman could be expected to ply his trade on it. No curator could be expected to prepare it. Parker will give it
another chance at next year’s World Cup.
“Pitch No 7 has been retired,” Parker said, as 3000 people converged on the SCG to watch the coverage of Hughes’s
funeral on the big screen on Wednesday.
New South Wales play a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG next week. It will probably start on Tuesday.
“It breaks my heart, what’s happened. This is the people’s ground. It really is. Look at everyone here. I never thought I’d see someone die out here. I love this place. I love what it means to people,” Parker said.
“This old place has given us a lot of good memories. I’m shocked by what’s happened. My staff are shocked. We won’t be using that particular pitch for a long time,” he said.
NSW next week will make their first Sheffield Shield appearance since the on-field tragedy. They will be playing on pitch No 2. It is about as far as Parker can get from the site of last week’s accident.
“I don’t want to touch it for now,” he said.
Hughes’s funeral service was shown on the SCG’s big screen.
CA XI bowlers to share insights into Indian team
Five bowlers of the Cricket Australia XI, against whom India played a couple of two-day games as a warm-up to the Test series, will stay here to assist the national side and provide insights into the visiting team.
The second practice match finished in an inevitable draw on Friday, but CA XI captain Ashton Turner is among five bowlers from the team that will remain here to assist the national team in the nets.
“Players would probably be talking about what they saw and did, which will be passed onto other players,” CA XI coach Troy Cooley was quoted as saying by Australian news agency AAP.