Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
In a tragic turn of events, Australia batsman Phillip Hughes passed away just two days after he was struck on the side of the head during a Sheffield Shield match.
Hughes, who was playing for South Australia, underwent surgery at St Vincent’s Hospital two days ago after being hit by a bouncer from New South Wales pace bowler Sean Abbott. Following the surgery, Hughes was transferred to the intensive care unit in critical condition.
“It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away,” team doctor Peter Brukner said. “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.”
Numerous players, coaches and friends visited the 25-year-old in the hospital before he passed away.
Brad Haddin, Steven Smith, Shane Watson, David Warner, Nathan Lyon, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Starc and Daniel Smith all visited Hughes, along with Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich, Phil Jaques and Brett Lee.
Many people also flew in from other parts of the country, including Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade, Peter Siddle, Peter Forrest, George Bailey, Ed Cowan, Justin Langer, Australia head coach Darren Lehmann, Cricket Australia’s CEO James Sutherland and high performance manager Pat Howard.
“The entire NSW cricket community offers our heartfelt condolences to Phillip’s mother and father Virginia and Greg, sister Megan and brother Jason at this most difficult of times,” Cricket New South Wales chairman John Warn said. “Their grief is being felt across the country and around the cricket world as the extended cricket family comes to terms with the sad loss of a very popular and talented young player.
“Phillip touched so many people playing for NSW, Australia, South Australia, county cricket in England and the IPL in India. A lovable, quiet and affectionate young man from the farming community of Macksville, Phillip has left an indelible impression on the game as a player and a person.
“So many in the NSW cricket family know Greg, Virginia, Jason and Megan personally. It is tragic that Phillip has been taken from them so young. He reflected their strong country values and warmth as a loving, caring family.”
Cricket New South Wales chief executive Andrew Jones added: “Phillip is fondly remembered as a bright and cheeky young man with an infectious smile who emerged as an outstanding junior more than a decade ago. Like so many NSW and Australian players before him, Phillip moved to Sydney to play Grade Cricket and found a home at Western Suburbs.
“He rose quickly through the ranks, debuting for NSW and scoring a century in a Sheffield Shield final at 19. For all his good humour he took cricket very seriously and always worked tremendously hard at his game. Despite being in and out of the Australian team during his emerging years Phillip never complained when he was dropped or overlooked. He always focused on making himself a better player.
“It was typical of Phillip that he was fighting his way back into the national team again with a fine innings for South Australia against NSW at the SCG last Tuesday before suffering a freak accident. Phillip had already scored 26 first class centuries and his best cricket was ahead of him. It is unspeakably sad he cannot now achieve his potential in the game.”
It has been revealed that Hughes suffered a cerebral haemorrhage after being hit and was put into an induced coma when he arrived at St Vincent’s Hospital.
“It’s really a matter of millimetres and the bad luck of the actual site of the impact,” sports doctor Peter Larkins told the Australian on Wednesday. “It’s very critical what part of the brain gets hit, you can actually just get a bruised brain or simply a crack in the skull when you get hit in certain parts of the head and not have anything as serious as Phillip has got. In this case it’s hit a particular artery at the base of the neck that has burst.
“There’s just an incredible release of blood from the burst artery and that’s where the bleeding in the brain, the cerebral haemorrhage, occurs.”