There were emotional scenes at Adelaide Oval on the third day of the Test between Australia and the West Indies.
Twenty years after the death of David Hookes, the Australian cricketing legend was remembered by his contemporaries and former teammates ahead of play with two symbolic gestures.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Australian cricketers’ touching tribute to the late David Hookes.
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The first was a Gray-Nicolls bat resting against stumps.
Seven commentator and former star cricketer James Brayshaw was a teammate of Hookes during his time at South Australia.
Ahead of play starting, Brayshaw was keen to highlight the bat resting against the stumps.
Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood check out the David Hookes’ tribute ahead of play. Credit: Getty Images
“What a nice touch that is, Blewy (Greg Blewett),” Brayshaw said as he instructed the camera operator to zoom in on the bat.
“That’s for the great David Hookes who you and I played with.”
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Brayshaw then explained when Hookes was ‘Not Out’ at lunch or tea, the cavalier batter would leave his Gray-Nicolls leaning against the stumps.
“And of course today is the 20th anniversary of his very sad passing,” Brayshaw said.
Blewett, who also played domestic cricket for South Australia, agreed.
“That’s right. That is a great touching moment,” he said.
Soon after, Hookes’ long-time friend and former Australian cricketer Wayne Phillips rung the ‘Bradshaw Bell’, which is now used to signal the start of play at the venue.
Hookes was a cult figure and a flamboyant left-hand bat in the late 70s and 80s.
He was forever immortalised in the famous C’mon Aussie, C’mon song with the line ‘Hookesy’s clearing pickets’, referring to his ability to clear the boundary fence and belt sixes.
His death was a tragedy, killed after he was punched outside the Beaconsfield Hotel in Melbourne by a bouncer.
Hookes, who was coach of the Victorian team at the time, had been out drinking with his players.
Phillips was next to Hookes at the time of the incident and later said he was still affected by the tragedy.
“The sad night of David’s passing had and continues to have a horrible effect on me,” Phillips once wrote.
“The impact through the actual situation of what occurred, the funeral and the resultant court hearing are such strong memories. The most challenging one is I can no longer pick up the phone and call him to ask a question, seek advice, tell him a story, review a current situation, all of those necessary reasons to chat, gone.
“I still stop at the Beaconsfield Hotel when in Melbourne and have a beer on the steps and make sure I bring him up to date with various matters he would be interested in.”