Phillip Hughes: Australian batsman dies. #RIP
Australia Test batsman Phil Hughes has died, two days after being hit on the head by a ball.
Australia team doctor Peter Brukner said he never regained consciousness and died in hospital in Sydney. He is one of my favorite cricketer.
Hughes, 25, was carried off on a stretcher at the Sydney Cricket Ground after a short-pitched delivery struck his head, missing his helmet.
He had CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before being taken to hospital and placed in an induced coma.
Hughes, who in 2009 became the youngest player to score a century in each innings of a Test when he achieved the feat against South Africa in his second appearance, had been in critical condition after doctors performed emergency brain surgery. He played 26 Tests, 25 ODIs and a solitary Twenty20 international.
“It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away. 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,” said Australia team doctor Peter Brukner said in a statement released on Thursday. “As a cricket community we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time. Cricket Australia kindly asks that the privacy of the Hughes family, players and staff be respected.”
Several of Hughes’ former NSW team-mates paid regular visits to St Vincent’s Hospital in the past few days, including key members of the Australian squad for the upcoming Brisbane Test against India, such as captain Michael Clarke, David Warner, Brad Haddin, Aaron Finch and Steven Smith. Among those who were in the field at the Sydney Cricket Ground when Hughes was felled by a nasty short deliver were Haddin, Warner, Shane Watson and Nathan Lyon.
The SCG match was subsequently cancelled and two other Shield matches in Brisbane and Melbourne were called off on Wednesday after consultation between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association. Cricket Australia has announced counselling for any players effected by the sickening injury to Hughes, and there is some doubt over whether the Gabba Test starting December 4 will go ahead as scheduled.
Hughes made a strong start in Tests, scoring 75 in the second innings of his debut in Johannesburg in early 2009 and then 115 and 160 in the next match in Durban. However, his form deteriorated in the subsequent Ashes tour of England where he made 57 runs in three innings and was dropped. He had since been in and out of the Test squad, playing 21 Tests between January 2010 and July 2013. His Test average stands 32.65 while in ODIs he averaged 35.91.
Tributes from the cricketing community, other sportspeople and elsewhere around the world flooded in for Hughes, reflecting the high regard in which he was held as a cricketer and a man.
Cricket Australia statement
‘It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away,’ said Australian cricket team doctor Peter Brukner 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.’
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid tribute to the player, describing Hughes as “a young man living out his dreams”.
“His death is a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family. What happened has touched millions of Australians,” he said.
“For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration. He was loved, admired and respected by his teammates and by legions of cricket fans.”
Australia coach Darren Lehmann, leading the early tributes, tweeted: “RIP you little champ, we are all going to miss you! Love, prayers to all the Hughes family.”
Flags at the MCG are being flown at half-mast on Thursday. NSW Premier Mike Baird said all government flags would be at half-mast on Friday as a mark of respect.