Former Australian cricketer Shane Watson admitted that following the untimely death of Phil Hughes in 2014, it became difficult for him as a batsman to face fast bowling since the death of his fellow cricketer.
Hughes lost his life while facing Sean Abbott in a domestic cricket game and since then the cricketers have not been comfortably playing the short ball.
“I didn’t have fear, honestly, up until Phil Hughes got killed. Fast bowling was always my strength ... I was fielding at first slip when Phil got hit, so it wasn’t until that moment that fear came into my game massively, and that was one of the reasons why against fast bowling in my career, in my performance with the bat started to really dive, because I had no idea how to deal with it,” Watson was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Watson represented the country in 59 Tests, 190 ODIs and 58 T20Is. However, as he claims, his run-scoring abilities did take a hit after the unfortunate incident. In the seven Tests he played after Phil Hughes passed away, Watson managed to score just 323 runs, including two half-centuries at an average of 26.91.
“The innocence of the game of cricket went immediately,” Watson said. “I always knew that you could get hurt of course ... if a ball went through my helmet I could fracture my face or my eye socket or jaw or whatever it was but never ever contemplated that you could actually get killed".
“I had a two-year-old son at that stage. Will was two and just the thought that went through and continued to go through my mind for a long period of time, was ‘what if that was me?’. Like what happens to my family, not just my mum and dad, but my wife and my son,” added Watson.