The cricket world was left stunned as Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, who was struck on the head by a cricket ball, died in a hospital here.
The 25-year-old Hughes, who represented the national team in 26 Tests between 2009-2013, fractured his skull and suffered massive bleeding in his brain after being hit by pacer Sean Abbot’s bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and New South Wales (NSW) at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) Tuesday.
Hughes was carried off the ground on a stretcher and treated on the boundary before being rushed to a hospital where he underwent surgery. The match was abandoned following the incident.
The left-hander Hughes was in an induced coma at the St. Vincent’s Hospital here after undergoing surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.
“He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday,” Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said in the statement Thursday.
“He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends,” Brukner said.
“As a cricket community, we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time,” he added.
“Cricket Australia (CA) kindly asks that the privacy of the Hughes family, players and staff be respected.”
Hughes scored three Test centuries. He also scored 26 first class centuries and was a prolific scorer for New South Wales, for whom he debuted at the age of 18 and later for South Australia.
Hughes was part of Australia’s most recent Test squad, for the series against Pakistan in the UAE, but he was not called on to play a Test in that series.
CA termed the left-handed Hughes “a rising star” and said the untimely death of the batsman was a long-term loss for cricket in the country.
“Just shy of his 26th birthday, Phillip has been taken from us far too young. As a cricketer, he was an incredibly talented and dearly loved member of the Australian, South Australian and Adelaide Strikers squads and a former NSW representative,” CA CEO James Sutherland said in a statement.
“He also played county cricket in England and Indian Premier League (IPL) in India. Without doubt he was a rising star whose best cricket was still ahead of him.”
Sutherland also said that Hughes had it ion him to have a long career in the game.
“The National selectors had certainly identified him as having a long-term future in the game. It was only a few days ago when announcing the first Test team for the forthcoming Indian series that National selector Rod Marsh said, ‘He’s a hell of a good batsman. He is a very, very good young player who has got 26 first-class hundreds’,” he said.
As a result of this tragic development, the two-day tour match between the CA XI and India was cancelled as a mark of respect towards the luckless cricketer.
“CA today advises that the two-day tour match between CA XI and India in Adelaide has been cancelled. The decision has been made in consultation with the players and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), following the tragic passing of Phillip Hughes earlier today,” Pat Howard, CA executive general manager of team performance, said in a statement.
The Internaional Cricket Council (ICC) offered its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Hughes.
“We are all shocked and saddened with the news of Phillip’s passing. On behalf of the entire cricket community, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his family and friends,” ICC chairman N. Srinivasan said in a statement.
Former Indian batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar led the cricketing community in offering condolences to the unfortunate star.
“Shocked to hear about Phil. Sad day for cricket. Deepest condolences to family, friends and well wishers. RIP,” Tendulkar said of his former teammate at IPL side Mumbai Indians.
Joining the ICC, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Indian cricket team also offered their condolences to Hughes and his family.
Abbott, whose delivery struck Hughes, was also consoled by the cricketing fraternity.
“A very sad day for the world of cricket. So sorry for Phillip Hughes and his family. Spare a thought for Sean Abbott,” Former England skipper Ian Botham tweeted.