LANCASHIRE all-rounder Tom Smith has told Quays News that late Australian batsman Phillip Hughes was ‘horrible to bowl at’.
The 25-year-old left-hander died tragically last Thursday after being struck on the top of the neck by a bouncer from Sean Abbott during a Sheffield Shield game.
The horrific accident happened two days earlier and despite the doctors attempts the well-regarded batsman died tragically three days before his 26th birthday.
Speaking to Quays News on Tuesday Smith said: “He was horrible to bowl at. The way he played the game, because he played in not an unorthodox style but he had his own way of playing; which was obviously very successful and he was very talented and his figures speak massively for his talent.”
The 28-year-old all-rounder also spoke about how he felt when he found out about the incident: “I remember finding out, obviously the day he got hit and went to hospital we were all like wow you don’t expect it in cricket and then the morning I woke up and I obviously found out he’d died it was just a massive sombre feeling.
“We (Lancashire) felt it wasn’t right to train because everyone was still in shock. I think the whole community and the way they’ve come together has been great.”
However Smith who’s approaching his 10th year as a first team professional said he still wants bouncers to be part of the game: “I mean what happened was obviously tragic and I think there’s been a few people saying should the sport be changed or should the bouncers be limited but it is part of the bowler.
“It is a delivery bowlers bowl. We were practicing it this morning- playing against it not bowling it- and I think if you took away the short ball, bowlers on the pitches they have these days, might have a harder job.”
Despite saying that Smith is keen to see the authorities do something: “I mean you look at helmets- maybe there’s something they can do or what I don’t know. I think it’s an area that can be explored definitely but I think changing the game is something I’m not 100 per cent sure about.”
The all-rounder, who took 55 Championship wickets last year says batsman can’t afford to let it affect them when they take to the crease: “You’ve got to try and make sure you don’t think about it because obviously it was a terrible thing and you don’t want to think about that when you’re going out to bat and you’re facing someone who’s bowling 90+mph so you’ve got to make sure as a batter now that you’re concentrating on the things you do well and make sure you can build on that and don’t have that in the back of your mind.”
He is however expecting it to affect bowlers when they’re at the end of their mark thinking about bowling a bouncer: “It was a freak accident what happened and I think they’ll (bouncers) still be bowled in the game and I think they should be bowled in the game but obviously you might think at the top of your mark a little bit- the second thought if you are going to bowl a bouncer you might just have that wow you know.”
By: Callum Matthews