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Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has made it clear that the board will provide New South Wales pace bowler Sean Abbott “with all the support he needs”.
Sutherland’s comments come after Abbott bowled the bouncer that struck batsman Phillip Hughes on the side of the neck and subsequently led to him passing away at the age of 25.
“I had a chat to him last night and I was incredibly impressed by the way he was holding himself and his maturity,” Sutherland said. “But the point is this not a moment-in-time thing. This is a grieving process that will affect people in different ways. What we will do and the relevant experts will do is provide Sean with the support he needs.”
Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) chief executive Alistair Nicholson added that Abbott has been put into counselling and is being closely monitored.
“He has got a lot of support around him from his team-mates and also the counselling services,” Nicholson said. “He’s someone who we’re monitoring closely and we know he’s got a lot of support around him.”
Australia team doctor Peter Brukner and captain Michael Clarke also spent some time with Abbott at St Vincent’s Hospital, which was where Hughes was being treated before he passed away.
“Phillip’s sister, Megan, also came and spent significant time with Sean,” Brukner said. “Obviously what Sean has gone through is an incredibly traumatic experience, as it has been for everyone present on the field that day.”
Former Australia pace bowler Stuart Clark also spoke to Abbott, and said: “It will be the hardest for him when it’s quiet and there’s nothing happening. When he’s sitting at home at night before he goes to bed. That’s, I think, when the thoughts will start recurring in his mind. You worry that this could jeopardize Sean Abbott and his cricket career and we don’t want that.”