Sydney salutes David
January 23, 2004
IT was the public’s first
chance to officially salute David Hookes yesterday – and Sydney did
the nation proud. A crowd of more than 40,000 and both the Indian
and Australian teams observed a minute’s silence at the SCG before
last night’s clash.
A MINUTE of reflection, then an explosion
of colour and movement. Much like a David Hookes innings.
The first game to feature Australia since the tragic death of
Hookes on Sunday night was a joyous rather than mournful occasion at
the SCG yesterday.
Many felt that's the way the extravagant left-handed batsman
would have wanted it.
As Australian and Indian players, match officials and cricket
legend Allan Border stood on the field wearing black armbands, the
big screen replayed the over which highlighted Hookes' cricket
Older spectators recalled how they saw, live, Hookes despatch
Tony Greig for five fours in a row during the Centenary Test in
The new generation hoped today's heroes would repeat the feat.
A minute's silence had all pondering the frailty of life. The
Australian players embraced firmly.
Then, in the typical Australian way, it was time to get on with
Bill Yewdall, 88, summed up the day.
"I found it very touching but the game has got to go on, of
course," the 56-year member of the SCG said.
Soon girls returning to their seats were the recipients of wolf
whistles, rival fans heckled each other, and the beer flowed.
Hookes was never an advocate of public displays of emotion and he
would not have been annoyed only a few in the crowd brought banner
and shirts bearing tributes.
Michael Liddle, 18, and his mates from Castle Hill made a "we
love Hooksey" sign.
"We felt really bad about it, someone getting bashed like that,"
Another group of 50, who bought tickets to celebrate a friend's
30th birthday, wrote messages on their shirts paying tribute to
One recalled the comment which recently got Hookes in hot water
writing "yes she is a hairyback sheila".
Brothers Michael and Warren Phelps recalled Hookes attacking
style. "Showing those fours on the big screen brought back memories
for me," Warren, 51, said.
"It's part of folklore in a way."
Michael, 55, said he was impressed by the way the cricket
authorities and community had responded to Hookes death.
"It struck everyone and they were saddened by it," he said.
"They handled it very sympathetically today."
Lisa Crotty said the way Hookes died was disturbing.
"You do get on with the game but there is that thought during the
match of what happened to Hooksey," she said.