Australia news November 27, 2014

Phillip Hughes dies aged 25


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Phillip Hughes 1988-2014

Phillip Hughes has died as a result of the injuries he sustained when struck by a bouncer on Tuesday, Cricket Australia has confirmed. He was 25.

Team doctor Peter Brukner confirmed the news in a statement released on Thursday afternoon.

"It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away," Dr 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."

Players, coaches and other friends had been in and out of St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney throughout Wednesday and Thursday, visiting Hughes and supporting his family, and each other. Australia's captain Michael Clarke, a close friend of Hughes', had been at the hospital until after midnight on Wednesday night and returned at about 6am on Thursday.

Brad Haddin, Steven Smith, Shane Watson, David Warner, Nathan Lyon, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Starc and Daniel Smith all spent time at the hospital, as did Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich, Phil Jaques and Brett Lee. Some flew in from interstate, including Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade, Peter Siddle, Peter Forrest, George Bailey, Ed Cowan, Justin Langer, and Cricket Australia's CEO James Sutherland and high performance manager Pat Howard. The national coach Darren Lehmann was there as well.

Also keeping vigil at the hospital were the Hughes family, including his mother and sister, who had been at the Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and New South Wales on Tuesday when Hughes was struck by the bouncer while batting on 63. At a press conference at St Vincent's Hospital on Thursday afternoon, Clarke read a statement on behalf of Hughes' parents Greg and Virginia, and brother and sister Jason and Megan.

"We are devastated by the loss of our much-loved son and brother Phillip," Clarke read. "It has been a very difficult few days. We appreciated all the support we have received from family, friends, players, Cricket Australia and the general public.

"Cricket was Phillip's life, and we as a family shared that love of the game with him. We would like to thank all the medical and nursing staff at St Vincent's Hospital and Cricket NSW medical staff for their great efforts with Phillip. We love you."

James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia CEO, said that Hughes was an incredibly talented and dearly loved member of the Australia, South Australia, Adelaide Strikers and formerly New South Wales sides. He described Hughes as "a rising star whose best cricket was still ahead of him".

"But was Phillip as a person that we will miss most," Sutherland said. "He was a classic example of his country upbringing - humble, understated and hard working. When the chips were down or he had a setback he simply got on with the job and worked harder. He set a wonderful example to any young person seeking to make their way in life.

"The word tragedy gets used far too often in sport but this freak accident is now a real-life tragedy. Just shy of his 26th birthday, Phillip has been taken from us far too young. It's an understatement to say that we are completely devastated. Our grief runs deep and the impact of Phillip's loss is enormous but nothing compares to the loss felt by those closest to him.

"Phillip was a cherished son, brother, friend and team-mate. In these darkest of hours cricket puts its collective arms around the Hughes family. To his parents Virginia and Greg and siblings Megan and Jason we offer our love and endless support."

On Tuesday, Hughes was playing for South Australia against his former state New South Wales when he missed his attempted hook and the ball struck him on the neck below the helmet. He underwent surgery on Tuesday after being rushed to hospital from the SCG, and was then in an induced coma.

Hughes played 26 Tests for Australia and scored three centuries, and he appeared a strong chance to win a recall for next week's first Test against India at the Gabba, with Clarke expected to be ruled out due to injury. Hughes first emerged as an international cricketer on the 2009 tour of South Africa, where at the age of 20 in Durban he became the youngest man ever to score two centuries in a Test.

He scored 26 first-class centuries and was a prolific scorer for New South Wales, for whom he had debuted at the age of 18, and later for South Australia. Hughes had been part of Australia's most recent Test squad, for the series against Pakistan in the UAE, but he was not called on to play a Test in that series.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ESPN on November 29, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    For the last few days,I have mourned the passing of Hughes,mourned as cricket itself mourned,mourned as thousands of people all across the globe mourned the passing of a cricketer filled to the brim with talent.RIP Hughesy,you will be missed.#63NotOutForever

  • Android on November 29, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    Every time I think about you Philip Hughes my heart is loaded heavily. I love you man

  • Muhammad on November 29, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    RIP Phil you will always be remembered as a gutsy competitor a talented sportsman and a true gentleman.

  • josh on November 28, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    RIP Highest a promising career cut far too short

  • Anver on November 28, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Cricket world is still mourning shocking & unexpected demise of talented Phil Hughes. I believe # 63 will remain in every cricketer's mind for ever !!!! A morning cricket fan from SRI LANKA !!!

  • DIPTENDU on November 28, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    It's been a very shocking news for all lovers especially Philip's parents & the whole Australian team.We all love you & may your soul rest in peace mate because hughes's never dies.All cricket fans salute you.

  • Donna on November 28, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    So we're all crying then. Thought something was wrong with my feeling so despondent all day for an Australian I only watched play a few innings on television. Tears are still in my eyes. I guess it's the thought of him walking out happily with bat in hand not knowing it was to be the last time. It's the thought of his mother and sister in the crowd watching it all. It's the thought that this is a game that's supposed to be fun and this is not supposed to happen. Cricket for me will be divided into before and after today. From what I've heard of him he wouldn't want us to grieve forever. Seems like he'd want them to raise a glass to him after the match. Rise and live forever, son! All cricket fans salute you!

  • SMA on November 28, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    ICC must consider the name of the next World Cup Cricket in Australia. In a special condition the name should goes by the memory of Phillip Hughes.

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    This is such a tragic day for the entire world, let alone the Cricket world. Men of Phillip Hughes stature should realize what they represent to their communities. He, along with his fellow players league-wise are human icons of excellence in attitude, perseverance, and dedication. Phillip helped set the standards for all people striving to better themselves. Although Phillip has passed to the next stage of his existence, the example which he displayed remains as a testimony to his efforts to reach for perfection. Thank you, Phillip.