Sydney, Dec 5: Sydney Cricket Ground's (SCG) Pitch No.7, the 22-yard strip on which Phil Hughes fell after being fatally struck by a bouncer on head, has been retired.
The wicket square at the SCG has 10 pitches. Hughes received his fatal blow on pitch No 7 and fell face-forward. He succumbed to the blow in the hospital a few days later, leaving the cricketing world in shock.
Curator Tom Parker told 'The Australian' that particular pitch on which Hughes was struck by a Sean Abbott bouncer would be getting the cold shoulder for a while. (Clarke's tearful tribute)
No batsman could be expected to ply his trade on it. No curator could be expected to prepare it. Parker will give it another chance at next year's World Cup. (Photos - Hughes' final journey)
"Pitch No 7 has been retired," Parker said, as 3000 people converged on the SCG to watch the coverage of Hughes's funeral on the big screen on Wednesday. New South Wales play a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG next week. It will probably start on Tuesday.
"It breaks my heart, what's happened. This is the people's ground. It really is. Look at everyone here. I never thought I'd see someone die out here. I love this place. I love what it means to people," Parker said.
'My staff are shocked'
"This old place has given us a lot of good memories. I'm shocked by what's happened. My staff are shocked. We won't be using that particular pitch for a long time," he said.
NSW next week will make their first Sheffield Shield appearance since the on-field tragedy. They will be playing on pitch No 2. It is about as far as Parker can get from the site of last week's accident.
"I don't want to touch it for now," he said. Hughes's funeral service was shown on the SCG's big screen.