Move to trademark Hughes '63 not out'

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Growing fears of attempts to cash in on the death of Test batsman Phillip Hughes have prompted Cricket Australia to trademark the phrase "63 not out".

As Australia prepares to battle India in the biggest Test match of the summer at the Melbourne Cricket Ground today, the game's bosses also confirmed that their lawyers have been fighting to protect Hughes' name.

Last week, representatives of Cricket Australia and its legal representatives K & L Gates were in discussions with Hughes' family and management over a pre-emptive strike to prevent potential unlicensed memorabilia.

After swift agreement was reached, Cricket Australia applied to have the phrase "63 not out" - the score Hughes had reached before he was felled at the SCG - trademarked under the name.

Covering several classes of goods and services including clothing and other memorabilia, it means Cricket Australia now controls the use of the phrase on all merchandise - a move they say was purely "defensive".

"Cricket Australia registered the trade mark in conjunction with Phillip's management purely as a defensive registration to prevent others trying to exploit Phillip's memory," a spokesman said

"There was some evidence of that starting to occur which is why we have taken this action."

Online searches reveal merchandise including T-shirts, stickers and decals featuring the phrase already being sold, along with plaques detailing Hughes' career stats - including his final innings - also being sold.

"Memorial" trophies displaying Hughes' Test number of 408 are also being offered for $195 on eBay.

The Boxing Day Test will be another emotional milestone since the death of Hughes, who suffered a freak injury when a rising ball from bowler Sean Abbott struck him on the back of the head and neck late last month.

The aftershocks of his death are still clearly being felt by the Australian players, particularly those who witnessed Hughes' horrific collapse on the SCG wicket.

Shane Watson, who was one of those present, was distressed again this week when he was struck on the head while practising in the MCG nets ahead of the third Test.

And opening batsman David Warner, who rode on the stretcher with Hughes as he was rushed from the ground to nearby St Vincent's Hospital, spoke of how the memory of Hughes, and how he died, was still fresh.

"It's going to be in the back of my mind every time I play, every time I sit at home and I'm thinking about nothing but that," Warner said.

"For us, we've got to keep pushing on. He'd want us to do that."

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