There is little I can say which will adequately convey the brutal sense of shock and sadness we all share this morning.
A young man, only twenty five years old, went off to play a cricket match and never returned.
Greg and Virginia Hughes could never have seriously imagined that when their son went out to bat at the SCG, he was putting his life on the line.
Their loss is inexpressible.
For us, at this remove, perhaps the over-riding feeling is disbelief. How can something like this happen in 2014? No one died during Bodyline.
This tragedy will change so many people’s lives. For Michael Clarke, Darren Lehmann and the rest of the Australian squad, and for the South Australia and New South Wales teams, cricket will never be quite the same again. There will forever be an empty seat in their dressing room.
Our sympathies must emphatically extend to Sean Abbott. It is impossible to imagine what he must now be going through.
When someone dies, there is nothing one can say which makes it better. No words will ameliorate. But there is one point worth making.
Cricket is one big club. More than that – we are a family. We may bicker and squabble, but when something like this happens we come together, united by our shared values, experiences, and the bonds our game weaves between us.
On the field of play, England and Australia are bitter foes and rivals. Scratch the surface, though, and we are blood.
Many people will say that these events will put so many things in true perspective. Cricket should not be a matter of life and death. It’s much less important than that.