Hillel Awasker 1959-2014 November 29, 2014

Israeli umpire dies after being struck by ball

ESPNcricinfo staff

An Israeli umpire was killed when he was struck by a ball during a league game in the port city of Ashdod, just south of Tel Aviv. The incident comes even as the cricket world mourns the passing of Australia batsman Phillip Hughes this week from head injuries after being struck by a ball.

During the league game in Ashdod, after the ball was hit by the batsman, it ricocheted off the stumps and struck the umpire, Hillel Awasker. Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted medics who tried to resuscitate Awasker as saying that he suffered a heart attack after being hit by the ball. Awasker was taken to hospital in a critical condition, and medics were unable to revive him.

Awasker, 55, was a former captain of the Israel team, and had represented Israel in six ICC trophies since 1982. His last matches for Israel were in division two of the European Championships in 2006. A left-arm spinner and hard-hitting top-order batsman, he had the local league record for the highest score, 244 not out, scored for the Ashdod A side.

Awasker held a degree in Business Administration, and was married with two daughters.

"The cricket family bows its head over the passing of Hillel. This is a tragedy for his family and for cricket in Israel," Naor Gudkar, CEO of the Israeli Cricket Association, was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post. "This is a one-in-a-million accident. It happened a few days ago to an Australian player and I don't know how it has arrived at our doorstep.

"I'm sure world cricket will look into what happened last week and we will also investigate the incident, but I'm not sure there was anything we could have done as we act according to all the rules and regulations."

The ICC sent out a release offering its condolences to Awasker's family and friends, calling him "a central figure in Israel cricket for many years, well-liked and well-respected throughout the local cricket community."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anver on December 1, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    What an unfortunate incident yet again !!!! my condolences to his family members. RIP Mr.Awasker !!! from SRI LANKA

  • Garry on December 1, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    That is true android user, but the human reaction time is limited, the batsman plays a powerful straight drive, it ricochets of the stumps, non strikers bat etc and hits the umpire in the head, you would need to have very very fast reflexes to prevent it hitting you, most umpires are older and you don't need quick reflexes to be a umpire, just a good eye.

  • Anil on December 1, 2014, 4:37 GMT

    Unfortunate incident, may his soul rest in peace.

  • N on December 1, 2014, 2:22 GMT

    RIP Mr. Awasker. Thoughts with the family.

  • Abrar on December 1, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    RIP - My Prayers with his family. (Pakistani Cricket Fan)

  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2014, 23:49 GMT

    There WILL be more incidents of umpires at the bowlers end being hit with various degrees of injury,until they start wearing protective equipment.If the governing bodies want to make cricket safer,then helmets for umpires standing at the bowlers end should be compulsory.

  • Bob on November 30, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    This is so sad, condolences to Hillel's family, friends and those playing in the match. Another tragic piece of news for cricket this week.

  • Garry on November 30, 2014, 21:16 GMT

    Yeah surprised that more umpires haven't been seriously hurt or even killed, how many times have we seen the ball go whizzing past the umpires head during internationals let alone all the first class and club cricket games being played around the word. Some sort of face guard and soft helmet should be offered to the umpires or a full helmet if they like. Bats are getting bigger so the ball is getting hit harder and the new bread of cricketer growing up on a diet of 20/20 only knows one way to hit a ball and that is as hard as possible.

  • Android on November 30, 2014, 20:17 GMT

    The is a solution for everyone. Never lose sight of the ball only then can you take evasive action or be safe. Helmet etc get player into a false mindset.

  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2014, 15:10 GMT

    This was only a matter of time, and the timing is unfortunate. Bowlers and umpires are in far more danger than batsmen. Not sure if there is a solution for the bowlers, umpires can wear helmets.

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