Cricket pays tribute to Phillip Hughes with #putoutyourbats

Twitter unites to remember Australian star as fans and players post images of their bats

Phil Hughes of Australia
(Image credit: Robert Cianflone / Getty)

In the increasingly bilious world of Twitter harmony is hard to come by, but the social media site has for once put bickering to one side to remember Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes who died on Thursday, two days after being hit in the neck by a bouncer.

Fans and players around the world have been paying tribute to the player by posting photographs of their cricket bats with the hashtag #putoutyoutbats, and the results are surprisingly poignant.

My 1989 Ashes bat.. Norman on security watch#RIPHughesy #putoutyourbats— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) November 27, 2014

A lone bat out the front of the SCG that reads "RIP P.Hughes 63n.o forever" #putoutyourbats— Tom Steinfort (@tomsteinfort) November 27, 2014

England cricket team's bats outside their dressing room in memory of Phillip Hughes #putoutyourbats #RIPPhilHughes— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) November 28, 2014

The hashtag is one of several doing the rounds that honour Hughes, but it has become the biggest, uniting fans and players across the globe. Thousands of images have been posted by amateur and professional cricketers and fans. Even those who don't have the requisite equipment or are involved with other sports have got in on the act, with images of baseball bats, tennis racquets and hockey sticks appearing online.

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In Australia Google joined the movement by adding an image of a bat resting against a wall to its homepage.

A nice touch from Google #putoutyourbats— (@CricketAus) November 28, 2014

Indian Men's Hockey Team have put out their sticks as a tribute to Phil Hughes. #putoutyourbats #PhilHughes— Cineket (@Cineket) November 28, 2014

Cricket Australia put out a row of 63 bats outside its headquarters in Melbourne, signifying Hughes' score, 63 not out, when he was injured.

Some of the 63 bats lining the windows of Cricket Australia's headquarters. Stay strong @seanabbott77 #PutOutYourBats— (@CricketAus) November 28, 2014

The idea for the tribute came from Sydney resident Paul Taylor, who posted a phot of his own bat with the hashtag soon after news of Hughes's death. The Australian describes it as a "poignant gesture of respect and mourning".

#RIPPhillipHughes #putoutyourbats— Paul D. Taylor (@Squizabilly) November 27, 2014

Taylor declined to talk to the media about the popularity of his idea, but in a series of tweets explained: "It's just a way for all cricketers to show their respects to Phillip Hughes. We've all played cricket in one way or other. Backyard or beach cricket, no matter what level we've all grown up with a bat and ball. This is our way to connect and show our sadness."

He, and other members of the cricket fraternity, also expressed sympathy for Sean Abbott, the unfortunate New South Wales bowler who delivered the ball that struck Hughes.

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