Oz opener wants to be called Phillip, not Phil Hughes

Oz opener wants to be called Phillip, not Phil HughesCape Town (South Africa), Mar. 15 : Australia’s latest batting sensation, opener Phil Hughes, prefers to be called Phillip rather than Phil in print.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this seemed a bizarre request, given Hughes - unshaven, a fan of shorts and thongs, the son of a banana farmer, vertically challenged, and a country bumpkin to the bone.

But, it seems, he is about as prim and proper as a stubbie-holder.

"Phillip" carries the outdated formality of a bygone era when players wore pencil-thin moustaches and paraded an almost mystical aura.

Given the events of the Kingsmead Test, however, Phillip it is. Certain achievements command respect.

Two centuries in one Test - enough has been written about that. Even his fourth-ball duck on debut at Johannesburg, enough of a calamity for the tabloids to rubbish him as "Boy Blunder", has become part of the Phillip Hughes legend.

In just two Tests, he has experienced the lot. The ugliest duck. A verbal onslaught from South Africa while making a confidence-building 75. Then back-to-back tons to lower West Indian great George Alphonso Headley''s 79-year-record as the youngest player to do it.

Phillip Hughes, originally thought to be as unsuitable a name as Douglas Walters, is a name fit for Wisden. He must have known all along.

Phillip Hughes had no idea about George Alphonso Headley''s record until his teammates told him.

Michael Hussey, not to be confused with Mike Hussey, was at the crease when the big moment came. Michael Hussey offered the obligatory backslaps before standing back and applauding the Durbanator along with everyone else.

Phillip Hughes looked a bit stunned by his own achievement.

Michael Clarke has known Phillip Hughes for years. They played grade cricket together at Western Suburbs in Sydney; they used to live in the same apartment block; Neil D’Costa, whose services are about to go to India, has mentored them both. Clarke made a hundred on his debut at the age of 23. A warning for Phillip Hughes is the fact that even Clarke ended up having a rough patch and being dropped.

Clarke denied the existence of a magic secret to Phillip Hughes''s elevation to Test record-breaker, claiming instead it''s as gloriously simple as a young man being given an opportunity and taking it.

"That''s one of the major factors in international cricket … you can cement yourself in the team for a long time if you play it the right way," Clarke said.

"He''s only young but he''s creating his own opportunity. He''s obviously got a very bright future. It was a fantastic moment to be out there batting with him at Durban. He''s done so well. I really enjoyed seeing him get 150. I wish he''d gotten 200,” said Clarke. (ANI)