Updated: November 27, 2014 8:51:26 pm
The cricket fraternity from across the globe reacted with shock and sadness at the sad demise of Australian batsman Phil Hughes, who succumbed to his injuries in Sydney after being hit by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shiled match. The Australian flag was also flown at half-mast as a mark of respect to Hughes
David Warner left the hospital in tears, the pain of losing teammate and friend Phillip Hughes shattering his usually brash and cavalier exterior. Warner was in the field two days earlier when Hughes was hit in the head by a cricket ball, and rushed to help when the opening batsman collapsed with what would later be revealed as a fatal bleeding in the brain.
Australia captain Michael Clarke held back tears as he read a statement on behalf of the Hughes family, composing himself for long enough until he could make a hurried exit from a nationally televised news conference.
Jim Maxwell, the veteran commentator who has been the voice of cricket radio broadcasts in Australia for decades, cried as he broke the news of Hughes’ death in a live afternoon drive program for the national broadcaster.
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The 25-year-old cricketer, who was in contention for a Test recall for the coming series against India, died at the St Vincent’s Hospital, where he was battling for life after being hit on the head by a bouncer from Sean Abbot during a domestic match between New South Wales and South Australia on Tuesday.
The BCCI led the Indian cricket fraternity in condoling the early demise of Hughes, who was described as true gentleman on the field.
“Our condolences and prayers with Phil Hughes’ family. May his soul rest in peace. # PhilHughes #CricketFamily,” BCCI wrote in its twitter page.
Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar expressed his sympathy for Hughes’ family on the shocking news.
“Shocked to hear about Phil. Sad day for cricket. Deepest condolences to family, friends and well wishers. RIP #PhilipHughes,” Tendulkar said.
India’s vice-captain Virat Kohli, who will lead the side in the first Test against Australia in Brisbane in the absence of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, termed it as a horrible day for the game of cricket.
“Shocked and saddened by the news of Phil Huges. Horrible day for cricket. RIP Phil and may your family gain the strength to cope,” he tweeted.
Another Indian batsman Rohit Sharma had words of sympathy for Sean Abott, whose bouncer hit Hughes leading to the left-hander’s death.
“Saddest day in cricket fraternity. Rest in peace mate and Sean Abbott stay strong #PhilHughes,” Rohit tweeted. Out of-favour allrounder Yuvraj Singh termed Hughes demise as a dark day for the game.
“Dark day for cricket can’t believe Phil hughes has gone! Rip my friend ! My heart goes out to his family !shocking,” Yuvraj wrote.
“Shocked and saddened. Phil Hughes you will live on in our hearts. RIP worst day in world cricket #peace #PhilHughes,” Suresh Raina tweeted.
Australian cricketing circle also took to the twitter to express their shock and sadness on Hughes’ death.
“RIP you little champ, we are all going to miss you ! Love, prayers to all the Hughes family xxxx,” Australia coach Darren Lehnman wrote.
“No no no no no. RIP Phillip Hughes,” was how former captain and wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist reacted on hearing the news.
Australia pace great Glenn McGrath and former opener Matthew Hayden also exprssed their sympathies for the bereaved cricketer’s family.
“Such terrible news with the passing of Phil Hughes. Our deepest sympathies to his family,” McGrath wrote.
“Rest peacefully our little brother…may God hold you in the palm of his hand forever. Deepest sympathies to the Hughes Family and friends,” Hayden tweeted.
There were condolence messages from cricketers of other countries as well on Hughes demise.
“May you RIP Hughesey. Words cannot explain one’s feelings right now. Prayers are with his family, friends and Teammates.. #RIPPhilHughes,” South African all-rounder J P Duminy wrote on twitter handle.
Former Protea skipper Graeme Smith and current captain AB de Villiers too were shaken by the news.
“Totally , totally sick inside and have no words.thinking and praying for friends and family. #RIPPhilHughes,” Smith tweeted.
“Heart broken! A very dark day. You will be missed, Phil Hughes. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family & friends,” De Villiers wrote.
Former South Africa wicket-keeper Mark Boucher felt sorry for the bowler Sean Abott and Hughes family.
“Lost for words! Holding onto the fact that he is in a better world right now! RIP buddy! Thinking of Sean and the family! God do your work!” he tweeted.
Sri Lanka’s former skipper and batting star Mahela Jayawardene, explosive West Indies batsman Chris Gayle and Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi also took the microblogging site to express the condolences on the devastating news.
“Just heard the worst news possible..our thoughts & prayers are with Phil, his family & friends. RIP Phil Hughes!!” Jayawardene said.
“Really Sad news to hear this morning. RIP philip Hughes. Condolences to his family – you will be missed,” Gayle wrote “My heartfelt condolences to the family of Australian cricketer Phil Hughes on the sad demise,” Afridi reacted.
Former England skipper Ian Botham also tweeted: “A very sad day for the world of cricket. So sorry for Phillip Hughes and his family. Spare a thought for Sean Abbott.”
Hughes, who played 26 Tests in his short-career, scoring 1,535 runs at 32.65 with three centuries and seven fifties, was batting for South Australia on 63 when he was struck by the bouncer below the helmet while trying to play a hook shot.
He was administered CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at the ground before being taken to hospital. He underwent a 90-minute emergency operation before being placed in an induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit of the St Vincent’s Hospital but he never regained consciousness.
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