Phil Hughes
Michael Clarke has opened up on his thoughts and emotions on Phil Hughes' untimely death.Reuters file

Australian captain Michael Clarke has written a touching tribute to his friend and teammate Phillip Hughes, on the occasion of his 26th birthday.

Hughes died on Thursday, after being fatally struck by a bouncer from Sean Abbott in a Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at the SCG on Tuesday, which left the sports world reeling.

Today, 30 November 2014, would have been Hughes's 26th birthday. And Clarke has now opened up on his thoughts and emotions, via a letter published by The Daily Telegraph Australia.


"I want to use the occasion of this, his 26th birthday, to shine a bit more light onto Phillip - the man he was and the life he led - which will help explain the extraordinary outpouring of support from inside, and outside, the world cricket family.


"His cricketing achievements - of which there were many - really play second fiddle to the human qualities that he exhibited.


"Loyal to a fault, eternally optimistic, kind hearted, wicked sense of humour, a child like verve for life... I really could go on and on.


"'One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.'

"Phillip was taken from all of us way too soon, but his attitude to life, his achievements on and off the field, and the hundreds of friends he made along the way all demonstrate that he did indeed live a crowded hour.

"That his career, and his life, was cut short in his prime is incredibly unfair.

"I don't have a blood brother, but I am very proud to have called Phillip my brother. I am a better man for having known him.

"Vale Hugh Dog. I will miss you forever, but I will not forget.

"Happy birthday bro."

To read the full version of Clarke's letter, click here.

Meanwhile, several Australia internationals and some of Hughes' teammates at the domestic level also wished the player on his 26th birthday, via their social media accounts.