An English cricket commentator has come under fire for an awkward remark while introducing Sean Abbott during the live broadcast of Australia’s 10-wicket T20 victory over Pakistan.
The commentator, believed to be Simon Hughes, was speaking on BT Sports’ live coverage about Aussie bowler Abbott, as the quick was making his return to international cricket for the first time since 2014.
“It’s a rare opportunity actually for Sean Abbott to play, the man who is most famous probably for having the terrible misfortune of bowling the ball that killed Phillip Hughes,” he said as the team line-ups were shown on screen.
The comment drew the ire of cricket fans on social media, some of whom were calling for him to apologise and even be sacked.
After showing strong form in the BBL in recent seasons, Abbott was named man-of-the-match in his long-awaited return to the international T20 side, taking two wickets – Imam-ul-Haq and Imad Wasim – with his bouncers bothering the Pakistan batsmen.
After the win, Abbott told Cricket.com.au that it was his mother who helped him most through the difficult times in his career, including the tragedy that led to Phil Hughes’ death and the traumatic aftermath.
“My mum said to me once … ‘the next ball is the first ball of the rest of your career’,” Abbott said.
“I’ve been trying not to roll out too many cliches and one-liners, but that one has helped me a little bit.”
Abbott was swarmed by his teammates following his first wicket of his 2-14 spell.
“I’m over the moon. It’s a bit of a cliche but I’ve dreamt about it for a long time. I lost belief there for a while but it’s good to run out with my mates tonight,” he told Cricket.com.au.
“I know Mum will probably be crying at home. She was crying on the phone earlier today.
“I’ve got a big family … and the guys back at home at the Blues, I’ve got some coaches … I could be here for hours naming them.
“The people who have helped me out and been there for me, they know who they are and I’m really grateful to have those people in my life.
“Hopefully it’s the start of something great, to continue what I’ve been doing at the Blues in the last couple of years. Hopefully I get some more opportunities in this team because it’s a bloody good team to be a part of.”