Aussie cricketer Phillip Hughes was cremated in Mackville today. Michael Clarke spoke at the funeral service at the Macksville Recreation Centre, which opened to the song "Forever Young" by Youth Group. The ceremony ended with Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". Elton John, famous entertainer and avid cricket fan, had performed at a concert in Germany last week to pay tribute to Hughes.
Hughes, 25, had died last Thursday after being hit near the ear by a ball in a match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Australia has been in shock over death of Phillip Hughes. Clarke, who described Hughes as the brother he never had, broke down frequently during the funeral service. He took several deep breaths before he began. "I can see how he has touched so many people around the world ... so rest in peace my little brother, see you out in the middle."
The funeral was broadcast live in Australia on commercial television stations and video screens at the Adelaide Oval. This the place where the rescheduled first test with India starts next Tuesday. Television footage showed Macksville residents gathering in a park near the funeral for a telecast. Many shops and businesses were shut down for the funeral, and schoolchildren were also let out of their classes early to watch or attend the service.