Australia Test batsman Phillip Hughes has died, two days after being struck on the side of the head by a bouncer during a domestic cricket match in Sydney.
The 25-year-old collapseds during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 25 November, when a ball from New South Wales bowler Sean Abbott struck him just below the helmet.
The South Australia player was stretchered off the field to be examined on the boundary before being evacuated to St Vincent’s Hospital. He has since undergone surgery and has been placed into an induced coma.
An emotional Michael Clarke, Australia captain, read out a statement on behalf of the Hughes family at a news conference held at St Vincent’s Hospital, where the player was being treated. he said:
“We’re devastated by the loss of our much-loved son and brother, Phillip. It’s been a very difficult few days.
“We appreciate all the support we have received from family, friends, players, Cricket Australia and the general public.
“Cricket was Phillip’s life and we as a family shared that love of the game with him. We would like to thank all the medical and nursing staff at St Vincent’s Hospital and Cricket New South Wales medical staff for their great efforts with Phillip. We love you.”
Commenting on the loss of a talented and well-liked player, Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland commented:
“It’s an understatement to say we’re completely devastated.
“The word tragedy gets used too often in sport, but this freak accident is a real life tragedy.”
Tributes from fellow cricketers, other sports stars, and the general public poured in on social media both sharing their feelings of loss and their sympathies for Hughes’ family:
Such terrible news with the passing of Phil Hughes. Our deepest sympathies to his family.
— Glenn McGrath (@glennmcgrath11) November 27, 2014
Just heard the worst news possible..our thoughts & prayers are with Phil, his family & friends. RIP Phil Hughes!!
— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) November 27, 2014
Huge loss for our cricketing family. Deepest sympathy for Phillip's family,friends & associates. Sean Abbott in our thoughts & prayers also.
— Viv Richards (@vivrichards56) November 27, 2014
You will never ever be forgotten Phillip Hughes!! Loved playing with you!!! See you in heaven, love you Hugo!! #408 pic.twitter.com/xij3lp5DwL
— johan botha (@johan_botha) November 27, 2014
RIP you little champ, we are all going to miss you ! Love, prayers to all the Hughes family xxxx
— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) November 27, 2014
No words can describe the loss
Woke up to the news of Phil Hughes passing away. RIP buddy. Thoughts and prayers to friends and family. What a sad day.
— Jacques Kallis (@jacqueskallis75) November 27, 2014
Woken to the horrific news about Hughesy ! I cannot describe the sadness I feel for the Hughes family & fellow cricket players, so so sad
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) November 27, 2014
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) November 27, 2014
A time to forget rivalries and join together in remembering a talented and charismatic cricketer. #RIPPhilHughes
— Barmy Army Cricket (@TheBarmyArmy) November 27, 2014
Many also shared sympathies for bowler Sean Abbot, who is said to be distraught over the accident:
A very sad day for the world of cricket. So sorry for Phillip Hughes and his family . Spare a thought for Sean Abbott.
— Ian Botham (@BeefyBotham) November 27, 2014
— Alec Stewart (@StewieCricket) November 27, 2014
And stay strong Sean Abbott. #support
— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) November 25, 2014
At Lords Cricket ground in London, the MCC flag was lowered behind the Compton Stand in memory of Hughes.
— Lord's Ground (@HomeOfCricket) November 27, 2014