Macksville's Phil Hughes is set to continue his impressive summer.
Macksville's Phil Hughes is set to continue his impressive summer. AAP

Hughes pads up for festival

EXCITING young Australian and NSW opening batsman Phillip Hughes, from Macksville, adds some 'local' flavour to the SpeedBlitz Blues who arrive in Lismore today for the Festival of Cricket which starts tomorrow.

The Blues will take on Victoria in the opening one day match at Oakes Oval tomorrow and Hughes should feel right at home. Hughes, 20, was looking forward to the prospect of playing in Lismore prior to departing for Sydney last week.

“It's out in the country, it's only three-and-half hours down the road (from Macksville) and it's great,” Hughes said. Hughes was looking to have a good hitout in Lismore and in India to make up for the disappointment of being dropped after the second Ashes Test.

“Obviously it was disappointing to get dropped when I did but at the end of the day that was what was best for the side and the selectors said that and that's what happens,” Hughes said.

Returning to NSW training for the first time in the preseason, Hughes said he was keen to reclaim the Test opening spot now filled by new Blues' teammate Shane Watson.

“In all three forms of the game, I love playing for NSW and hopefully I can continue that,” he said.

As for the prospect of becoming a 'free agent' and picking up high priced contracts overseas, Hughes was a little more circumspect.

Following his time in England, Hughes enjoyed the privilege of catching up with Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.

“We had a great chat - it was really more a casual chat and just chilling,” Hughes said.

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