Mitchell Starc took the opportunity to pay tribute to his mate Phillip Hughes during Australia’s Cricket World Cup final against India.
Fast bowler Starc, 33, wore a black armband with the initials ‘PH’ embroidered as a mark of respect for the Australian batsman who died after being hit on the head by a ball during a Sheffield Shield match in 2014.
He was just 25 years old and his death rocked the cricket world, leading to major changes in the design of helmets to better protect players.
Starc and many other members of the Australian team were close friends of Hughes and have regularly honored him since his death by wearing his Baggy Green number, 408, in various forms.
Left-arm bowler Starc had extra wind in his sails on Sunday when he heeded Pat Cummins’ bold call to bowl first and took the first wicket of the final in front of 130,000 fans.
Mitchell Starc honored his close friend Phillip Hughes during the World Cup final
Starc wore a black armband with Hughes’ initials as Australia defeated India
His early wicket inspired Australia as they took three scalps in the first eleven overs, with Glenn Maxwell’s removal of Rohit Sharma providing the turning point of the match.
The Aussies dedicated their 2015 World Cup triumph to Hughes, just a year after his death.
Michael Clarke, the team’s then captain, also wore a black armband with Hughes’ initials.
‘As you can see, it says PH. I will wear it every match I play for Australia,” he said at the time.
“I think it’s been a tough few months for everyone in Australian cricket.
“I’m sure I’m not just speaking for myself, I’m sure everyone who stands on this stage tonight will say that we played this World Cup with 16 players and tonight is certainly dedicated to our little brother and our team. partner Phillip Hughes.
“Hughes partied as well as she did, so I’ll make sure we have two beers at once tonight, one for Hughesy and one for us.”
Australian batsman Hughes died in 2014 after being hit by a ball during a cricket match