England team join Hughes tribute

Players from all levels have taken up the idea of posting a picture of their own bat to express their individual tribute to Hughes.

The Twitter movement began spontaneously as cricketers reacted to an initial photograph by Paul Taylor - a supporter from Sydney - of his bat, with a cap on the handle and leant against his house wall.

It is a scene which resonates with cricketers of all standards - bat ready for the day's play ahead - and has quickly captured the mood of millions anxious to pay their respect to Australia Test batsman Hughes, who died of his injuries after being hit by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match earlier this week.

England, on tour in Colombo and before their practice session at the Premadasa Stadium for Saturday's second one-day international against Sri Lanka, lined up the bats of the whole 15-strong squad outside the dressing room.

England's Performance Programme players, in Sri Lanka too, have also joined the campaign with a row of their bats ready for practice.

The simple, and hugely fitting, gesture has been enacted globally - including by several of Hughes' former team-mates, ex-internationals such as England's Graeme Swann and Test sides including New Zealand before the resumption of play in their match against Pakistan in Sharjah.

Countless others, often with bats of varying sizes belonging to different generations in a family, have followed Taylor's lead too.

To Cook, it is a demonstration of his sport's enduring unity of spirit at such a grim time.

"It is a term overused, but we are a cricketing family," he said.

"Players have definitely got closer over the last few years, playing for different franchises.

"So everyone knows each other a lot better than they used to.

"This just shows how we might be playing for different sides, different countries, but we are pretty much the same guys - trying to do our best for our teams at a sport we love."

After Hughes' death on Thursday at the age of 25, messages of shock and sympathy came from every corner of the cricket world.

The hashtag #putoutyourbats has given many a second opportunity to share those feelings.

Taylor's picture was accompanied by the words: "Fans put their bats out in tribute to Australian cricket star Phillip Hughes following his tragic death aged 25".

Swann was among the first to do so, tweeting a picture of a bat he used when making 63 not out in a Test match at Lord's - the same score the unbeaten Hughes had at the moment he suffered his injury.

"I used this bat at Lord's in 2010 against the West Indies and made 63* #putyourbatsout," he wrote.

West Indies great Viv Richards was one of many to quickly join the campaign, which also included a single bat resting outside the Sydney Cricket Ground - where Hughes played so often, including in his final match.

Cricket Australia placed a total of 63 bats in the windows of its offices in Melbourne, while Google Australia has a graphic of a bat resting against a wall on its homepage.

  A campaign has been started on Twitter in tribute to Phillip Hughes
A campaign has been started on Twitter in tribute to Phillip Hughes