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David Hookes:
Career in pictures

Sydney salutes David Hookes

January 23, 2004

IT was the publicís first chance to officially salute David Hookes yesterday Ė and Sydney did the nation proud. A crowd of more than 40,000 and both the Indian and Australian teams observed a minuteís silence at the SCG before last nightís clash.

A MINUTE of reflection, then an explosion of colour and movement. Much like a David Hookes innings.

The first game to feature Australia since the tragic death of Hookes on Sunday night was a joyous rather than mournful occasion at the SCG yesterday.

Many felt that's the way the extravagant left-handed batsman would have wanted it.

As Australian and Indian players, match officials and cricket legend Allan Border stood on the field wearing black armbands, the big screen replayed the over which highlighted Hookes' cricket career.

Older spectators recalled how they saw, live, Hookes despatch Tony Greig for five fours in a row during the Centenary Test in 1977.

The new generation hoped today's heroes would repeat the feat.

A minute's silence had all pondering the frailty of life. The Australian players embraced firmly.

Then, in the typical Australian way, it was time to get on with the game.

Bill Yewdall, 88, summed up the day.

"I found it very touching but the game has got to go on, of course," the 56-year member of the SCG said.

Soon girls returning to their seats were the recipients of wolf whistles, rival fans heckled each other, and the beer flowed.

Hookes was never an advocate of public displays of emotion and he would not have been annoyed only a few in the crowd brought banner and shirts bearing tributes.

Michael Liddle, 18, and his mates from Castle Hill made a "we love Hooksey" sign.

"We felt really bad about it, someone getting bashed like that," he said.

Another group of 50, who bought tickets to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday, wrote messages on their shirts paying tribute to Hookes.

One recalled the comment which recently got Hookes in hot water writing "yes she is a hairyback sheila".

Brothers Michael and Warren Phelps recalled Hookes attacking style. "Showing those fours on the big screen brought back memories for me," Warren, 51, said.

"It's part of folklore in a way."

Michael, 55, said he was impressed by the way the cricket authorities and community had responded to Hookes death.

"It struck everyone and they were saddened by it," he said.

"They handled it very sympathetically today."

Lisa Crotty said the way Hookes died was disturbing.

"You do get on with the game but there is that thought during the match of what happened to Hooksey," she said.

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