Coffs Harbour to host Hughes tribute match

New South Wales and South Australia will take first-class domestic cricket to Coffs Harbour next season in memory of Phillip Hughes.

Hughes was batting for the Redbacks against his former team – the Blues – in a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG last November when he was struck on the head by a bouncer that led to his shock death two days later.

The teams will pay tribute to the late 25-year-old in a match from February 25-28 at Coffs International Stadium, near Hughes’ hometown of Macksville.

Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones said the match was an opportunity for the local community to celebrate Hughes’ life and career alongside his former teammates.

“Phillip was a wonderful player for NSW, South Australia and Australia, and a proud representative of Macksville and North Coast cricket,” Jones said.

“Tragically, he left us last year but he will always remain in our hearts.

“Cricket NSW is delighted that with the support of the Coffs Harbour City Council, we are able to play a tribute match in a region where Phillip was and will forever remain a favourite son.”

South Australian Cricket Association chief executive Keith Bradshaw said there were no words that could describe the loss of Hughes.

“This match is but one way to remember our friend and much-loved teammate so close to his home town,” he said.

NSW fast bowler Doug Bollinger and South Australian wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman will launch the match in Coffs Harbour on Monday.

It is part of a three-year partnership between Cricket NSW and Coffs Harbour City Council.

NSW will also play a second XI game in Coffs Harbour this summer, with a Sydney Sixers warm-up match and a Cricket NSW Academy State Challenge to follow in subsequent seasons.

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