Israeli cricket umpire dies after being hit

Israel umpire and former captain Hillel Awasker has died after being hit by a ball at a cricket match in the Israeli city of Ashdod, Israel.

A batsman’s shot struck Hillel Oscar in the neck, possibly after a ricochet from the stumps at his end of the pitch. The incident comes just two days after Australian batsman Phillip Hughes died of a head injury caused by being struck by a ball at a match in Sydney. It was the last match in Israel’s league season.

Born in India, Hillel represented Israel in six editions of the ICC Trophy (the precursor to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier) – in 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1997 and 2001 – and captained his side during the 1982 and 1997 tournaments. He played 39 ICC Trophy matches, the third-highest amount in ICC Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament history, and scored 355 runs, claimed 21 wickets and took 10 catches.

Hillel most recently represented Israel in European Championship Division 2 in 2006, and was still playing domestic cricket when he qualified to become an umpire.

Hillel was a central figure in Israel cricket for many years, and was well-liked and well-respected throughout the local cricket community.

On November 27, Australian Test cricketer Hughes died of his injuries, two days after being struck on the neck by a bouncer in an Australian league game.

Inputs from ICC Press, BBC.

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