Hughes dies from head injuries

Hughes dies from head injuries

Promising Australian batsman Philip Hughes today succumbed to his head injuries that he sustained during a domestic match on Tuesday, leaving the cricket fraternity in shock over the huge tragedy.

The 25-year-old cricketer, who was in contention for a Test recall for the coming series against India, died at the St Vincent's Hospital, where he was battling for life after being hit on the head by a bouncer from Sean Abbot.

"It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away," Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said in a statement.

"He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday. He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends."

Hughes played 26 Tests in his short-career, scoring 1,535 runs at 32.65 with three centuries and seven fifties. His final Test was at Lord's in July 2013.

He also played 25 ODIs, and remains the only Australian to score a century on ODI debut. His final ODI came last month against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, one week after he played his lone T20 international against the same opposition in Dubai.

"As a cricket community we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip's family and friends at this incredibly sad time," Brukner said.

"Cricket Australia kindly asks that the privacy of the Hughes family, players and staff be respected."

The incident happened when Hughes was batting for South Australia during a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales on Tuesday. He was batting on 63 when he was struck by the bouncer below the helmet while trying to play a hook shot.

He was administered CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at the ground before being taken to hospital. He underwent a 90-minute emergency operation before being placed in an induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit of the St Vincent's Hospital but he never regained consciousness.

Cricket NSW Chief Executive Andrew Jones said: "Phillip is fondly remembered as a bright and cheeky young man with an infectious smile who emerged as an outstanding junior more than a decade ago.

"Like so many NSW and Australian players before him, Phillip moved to Sydney to play Grade Cricket and found a home at Western Suburbs.

"Phillip had already scored 26 first class centuries and his best cricket was ahead of him. It is unspeakably sad he cannot now achieve his potential in the game."

South Australian Cricket Association Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw said: "While everyone at SACA is hurting, the immediate thoughts of all staff and players are for Phillip's family who were with him at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney".

"He was a very popular member of both the West End Redbacks and Adelaide Strikers cricket teams and a favourite of the SACA members and cricket fans across South Australia and Australia, and we are all struggling to come to terms with the news.

"Loved by everyone, Phillip was a really terrific person and a remarkable talent. He had many friends and teammates here and interstate that will need support, and it is important we offer them our love and care as we all come to terms with this tragic event.

"The out-pouring of support for Phillip over the past few days has been overwhelming, and a testament to how much of an impact he had on so many people," Bradshaw said.
Ever since the incident took place on Tuesday, many of Hughes' teammates and friends have spent time in the hospital, offering support to the family.

Australia captain Michael Clarke, a long-time teammate and friend, was a constant presence at the hospital. Besides, Brad Haddin, Steven Smith, Shane Watson, David Warner, Nathan Lyon, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Starc, Daniel Smith and coach Darren Lehmann all visited the hospital.

On Tuesday, traumatised players from the New South Wales, including Abbot, and South Australia sides were offered counselling.

This is not the first time that a cricketer has died on the field. Indian cricketer Raman Lamba died in 1998 after being struck in the temple by a cricket ball hit by a Bangladesh batsman. He was 38.

Pakistan wicket-keeper Abdul Aziz was struck on the chest by a ball, collapsed and never regained consciousness during the 1958-59 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final. He died on the way to the hospital. He was 17.

Former Indian captain Nari Contractor had a similar life threatening experience when he was hit on the head by Charlie Griffith during the 1961-62 series in the West Indies. He needed more than one emergency brain operation, and never played Test cricket again.

In another incident, a horrific eye injury had forced South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher to retire from cricket in 2012. He had lost the lens, iris and pupil in his left eye after a being hit by a bail that flew back off the top of the wicket during his country's tour match against Somerset.

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