The #illridewithyou campaign in a shining example of everything that's fantastic about Australia - even if as a Kiwi I have to say it through gritted teeth. Like the American cousins, they've got a lot of big, empty spaces, what is politely known as a 'frontier mentality' and a tendency to come across as a bit rough round the edges.
Phillip Hughes' death is a tragedy on so many levels, not least the cutting down of a talent on the cusp of truly flourishing. But more, it's times like this that remind those of us with a tendency to get caught up in its ebbs and flows that sport is simply a game, no more no less, played by human beings of infinitely worth more than whatever scores they muster.
Phillip Hughes never lost the grounding of a rural upbringing on his journey to Test cricket...In essence, it's this grounding that helped to explain why the plight that Hughes so lucklessly and undeservedly found himself in touched the hearts of so many. Teammates past and present, greats of the game, fellow sportsmen and women, friends, casual acquaintances and so many fans who simply enjoyed watching him go about his work for whatever team, in whatever format. His innate competitiveness and unclouded vision of where he wanted to get to meant he - and, by osmosis, his team - was so often able to find a way to succeed regardless of opposition attempts to quell him.