22 August 2019
Phil Hughes (left) plays a shot during a match in Durban, South Africa. Photo: Reuters
Phil Hughes (left) plays a shot during a match in Durban, South Africa. Photo: Reuters

Australian cricketer dies from freak head injury

Australian cricketer Phil Hughes has died from a head injury after he was hit by a ball during a match at the Sydney Cricket Ground two days ago.

“He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends,” Peter Brukner, the Australian team’s doctor, said in a statement on Cricket Australia’s website.

“He never regained consciousness following his injury.”

Hughes, 25, who was wearing a helmet, was hit as he tried to strike a ball while playing a state match for South Australia against New South Wales.

The bouncer — a ball delivered at speed that rises sharply off the ground — appeared to strike him near the ear just under his helmet.

The world’s cricketing community, which was plunged into shock by Hughes’s injury, took to Twitter to express their condolences and grief.

“No no no no no,” former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said in a Twitter posting, and urged Sean Abbott, the bowler who delivered the ball, to “stay strong”.

Abbott, 22, and Hughes were members of the Australian squad that played Pakistan in an international 20-over game in Dubai on Oct. 5.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid tribute to Hughes, saying he was a “young man living out his dreams”.

“He was loved, admired and respected by his teammates and by legions of cricket fans,” Abbott said in a statement.

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