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Former Australian quick James Pattinson was called many things after hurling a ball back at NSW opener Daniel Hughes and striking him a painful blow on the foot during Victoria's Sheffield Shield win at the MCG.
Cricket's illiterati had spoken with its usual well considered and rational rancour.
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Hughes had more reason than anyone to join the pile on as he nursed a swollen left foot on Tuesday.
After all, it was his foot at the centre of the hit and not run.
But he insisted a post-game beer removed any ill-feeling and the pair parted on friendly enough terms.
"We talked about it over a beer in the change-rooms. It was all good in the end. He's alright," Hughes told Yahoo Sport Australia in an exclusive interview.
Well, Hughes admits things weren't so convivial 24 hours earlier after he dug out a Pattinson yorker only to look up and see the ball hurtling back at him as the paceman threw at the stumps (we think) in a red mist moment.
The Blues opener wasn't looking to take a run or even wandering out of his crease – and was none too impressed at being unexpectedly struck.
He threw away his helmet and bat, hobbling away in pain as Pattison offered a half-arsed apology.
Daniel Hughes opens up about James Pattinson incident
Hughes admitted he didn’t think Pattinson was 'alright' at that point.
"I was pretty pissed off about it. It was pretty painful and there were a few words had," he said.
"What I said back to him can't be repeated but what he said to me probably can’t be repeated either.
"It was a pretty intense, heated battle all day. The four quicks they had hit the wicket hard and it was a fiery encounter.
"They got frustrated with a few plays and misses and edges that didn’t go to hand but I wasn't going for a run or anything (when hit by Pattinson). I was just standing my ground in my crease and he let loose."
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 8, 2021
Hughes made a pact with himself right there and then.
He was not going to give his wicket up whatever it took, carrying his bat for an undefeated 89 from 319 balls and delaying – but not denying – Victoria a comfortable win.
"I just wanted to annoy them for the rest of my innings. I thought 'these bastards aren’t getting me out after that'," he said.
"I used it to drive me. Even though they did win the game I thought I'm going to fight all the way and keep these blokes out here."
Told he was very restrained considering the nasty blow inflicted by Pattinson, Hughes laughed and said: "It hit my foot but had it hit me in the ankle there might have been a bat headed his way."
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