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Phillip Hughes death: Michael Clarke breaks down while addressing media

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A distraught Michael Clarke delivered a touching tribute to Phillip Hughes, saying the Australian dressing room will never be the same without him.

The Australian captain held a media conference on Saturday morning at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the scene of Hughes’ last innings. Speaking on behalf of the Australian cricket team and its support staff, Clarke struggled to get through a prepared statement.

It lasted just two minutes and seven seconds but eloquently summed up the regard in which the Macksville cricketer was held.

“Words cannot express what we all feel as a team right now,” said Clarke, who choked back tears during his address.

“To Greg, Virginia, Jason and Megan, we share in the deep pain you’re feeling.

“Apart from when he was home on the farm with his beloved cattle, Hughesy was at his happiest playing cricket for his country with his mates.

“Things we always put into perspective when Hughesy said: ‘Where else would you rather be, boys, but playing cricket for your country?’

“We are going to miss that cheeky grin and twinkle in his eye.

“He epitomised what the Baggy Green was about and what it means to us all.

“The world lost one of its great blokes this week and we are all poorer for it.

“Our promise to Hughesy’s family is that we will do everything we can to honour his memory.”

Clarke revealed that, at his request, Cricket Australia had retired the left-hander’s Australian one-day-international shirt number, 64, as a mark of respect.

It means so much,” Clarke said.

“His legacy of trying to improve each and every day will drive us for the rest of our lives.

“We’d like to thank everyone both here and overseas for the touching tributes to Hughesy in recent days.

“Our dressing room will never be the same. We loved him and always will. Rest in peace ‘Brussy.'” Our captain @MClarke23 just stood tall again. — Karl Stefanovic (@karlstefanovic) November 28, 2014  

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