Australia mourns death of David Hookes

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The cricket world was shocked yesterday by news of the violent death of David Hookes, the former Australian Test batsman, after an incident outside a pub in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda.


Hookes, who was 48, created one of the seminal moments in Australian cricket when he struck England captain Tony Greig for five successive fours on his Test debut in 1977. He went on to score 1,306 runs in 23 Tests at an average of 34.36.

Hookes's death brought a tragic end to what should have been an ordinary Sunday night drink in Melbourne. As coach of the table-topping Victoria state team, he was out at St Kilda's Beaconsfield Hotel, celebrating his players' victory over South Australia.

Witnesses claimed that Hookes became involved in a dispute with the security staff shortly before midnight. Then, when he and his companions left the pub and walked some 65 yards towards their parked cars, they were allegedly followed by three bouncers, one of whom struck Hookes with a single punch.

Hookes fell heavily on to the road, suffering serious head injuries and cardiac arrest. Though paramedics succeeded in partially reviving him, he never regained consciousness and died yesterday in the intensive care unit of the Alfred Hospital, surrounded by his wife, Robyn, and other close relatives and friends.

A 21-year-old 'crowd controller' was yesterday released on bail after being charged with assault over the incident. Zdravko Micevic, who has won medals as an amateur boxer, could face further charges now that Hookes's death has been confirmed.

Hookes, who also worked as a radio presenter with Melbourne network 3AW, was a charismatic figure with outspoken and often controversial views. Last year he retracted his verdict on one of Shane Warne's sex-pest accusers - Helen Cohen Alon - whom he had described as a "dopey, hairy-backed sheila".

Ricky Ponting, Australia's captain, said yesterday: "Sitting with the guys at the airport this morning everyone was in a state of shock and no one could believe what happened. It's hit everyone hard."

Steve Waugh, Ponting's immediate predecessor as Australia captain, said: "I felt physically very sick this morning when I heard the news. It really is terrible."

Allan Border, another former Australia captain, added: "We'd been close mates going back to schoolboy cricket days so this has hit hard. I remember his cricket fondly because of the way he played in a swashbuckling style. As a bloke he was right off the top shelf."

From my understanding, Hooks tried to intervene in a fight and this dick head bouncer (from St Albans- The rough part of town & is also an Amateur boxer) came up and mistakenly punched the guy in the face that put him unconscious and he subsequently died.

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Yeah, it was a single punch from that bouncer that sent Hookes to hospital with life support and everything else. I keep hearing on the news that bouncers should control their temper and stuff, but I've never come across a bouncer who's ever had a bad ass temper like that, most of the ones that I've spoken to are all cool people.

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He hit him quite hard, and when he fell, he hit his head, also very hard on the ground. In Australia, all you need is two weeks training and no criminal record, and you can be a licenced crowd controller (bouncer).

I never really heard of this guy, but I remember him by the "dopey, hairy-backed sheila" comment :). I hope the guy gets charged with murder, at the most.

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