Image courtesy of: haaretz.com
Former Israel captain Hillel Awasker has passed away at the age of 55 after being struck by the ball while umpiring during a match in the city of Ashdod, which is located just south of Tel Aviv.
The incident comes just a few days after Australian batsman Phillip Hughes died at the age of 25 when he was struck on the side of the neck by a bouncer from New South Wales pace bowler Sean Abbott.
According to reports, Awasker was hit in the jaw after the ball, which was hit by the batsman, ricocheted off the stumps.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that medics tried to resuscitate Awasker after he suffered a heart attack when he was hit by the ball.
Awasker was then rushed to hospital in critical condition, but the medics were unable to revive him.
Awasker had represented Israel in five International Cricket Council (ICC) trophies since 1982, and he last represented his country in division two of the European Championships in 2006.
“We’re simply in shock,” Israel Cricket Association chief Naor Gudker told AFP. “He was an international umpire. He officiated in European Championships, he officiated in games in Israel: his future was ahead of him.
“He was a player for the national Israeli team and he was captain of the national team.
“The entire Israel Cricket Association and players bow their heads in his memory. He was a wonderful man, cricketer and umpire.”