Cricket Australia – Cricket united in grief as Australian batsman passes away following blow to the head.
The cricket community worldwide is in mourning today following the death of Phillip Joel Hughes, aged 25.
Cricket Australia announced the news with a statement from team doctor Peter Brukner. “It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away,” Dr Brukner’s statement read. “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.
“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.” Hughes was struck on the head while batting for South Australia during a Sheffield Shield game at the SCG on Tuesday, and underwent emergency surgery shortly after being rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. He had since been in an induced coma in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
Hughes, who hailed from Macksville on the New South Wales mid north coast, was struck by a ball below the helmet while attempting to play a hook shot to a short-pitched delivery at 2.23pm Tuesday, the opening day of his team’s match against NSW.
He was 63 not out at the time and pushing his case for a recall to the Australian Test team. Play was immediately suspended and the match later abandoned. Yesterday, the two other Shield games that were in progress were also abandoned with all thoughts only for Hughes. Thoughts are also with NSW Blues allrounder Sean Abbot who was bowling at the time of Hughes’s injury.
The left-handed opening batsman made his Test debut in February 2009 as a 20-year-old, and was presented with Baggy Green No.408 by then captain Ricky Ponting at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. A week later, Hughes became the youngest batsman to score twin centuries in a Test, achieving the feat in just his second outing in Baggy Green, against South Africa in Durban. It is a record that still stands. In 26 Tests, he scored 1,535 runs at 32.65 with three centuries and seven fifties. He played his final Test at Lord’s in London in July 2013. Hughes also played 25 one-day internationals, 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. Hughes scored 9,023 first-class runs, averaging 46.51 with 26 centuries, two of which were double hundreds. In July, he added his name to the record books once more when he made an unbeaten 202 for Australia A against South Africa A, becoming the first Australian male to score a double century in a 50-overs-a-side match. Hughes, who would have turned 26 on Sunday, was a hugely popular and respected figure within Australian cricket, renowned for his consummate professionalism and a hunger to succeed that was balanced alongside his unassuming nature and ready sense of humour.