The sickening injury suffered by Phillip Hughes in a Sheffield Shield match on Tuesday sent shockwaves through the cricket world. In the Australian, Peter Lalor writes that Hughes is one of the most well-liked figures in Australian cricket.
Four weeks ago we chatted in the UAE after the first Test. Alex Doolan looked an unlikely selection for the next match and I suggested to Hughes he was a fair chance to replace him. He wouldn't have a bar of it. It annoyed him that anyone would question Doolan's place in the side. He didn't want to get into the team if it was on those terms. "I've been treated like that too many times myself to want to see anybody else get dropped in these circumstances," he said. And "Dools is my mate" he added.
Malcolm Knox in the Sydney Morning Herald notes that the machismo of elite sport can mask the ever-present dangers faced by cricketers.
What we never see are the professional batsman's everyday bruises, the welts and grazes and cuts and deep purple contusions. Because nobody outside the changing room witnesses what happens to an average batsman's body on an average day facing fast bowling, the spectator might forget what a cricket ball can do ... Retired cricketers in commentary booths turn fear into funny stories, so that you would never know how often they were shaking to their bones.
In the Telegraph, Michael Vaughan writes that the incident will worry batsmen the world over.
Phil Hughes' injuries will send shivers through cricket - batsmen will now feel that while they are out in the middle they are in a world that is full of danger with the risk of serious injury. I enjoyed facing fast bowlers but there is always a fear factor. The truth is, with all the equipment and protection we have nowadays I never felt that anything drastic like what happened to Hughes on Tuesday could happen to me. The nerves and energy were generally geared towards your wicket. You just did not want to get out.
Writing for the Guardian, Mike Selvey considers the role that helmets have to play in modern cricket.
Helmets, for all their necessity, have made batsmen think differently. Now they are inclined to pull and hook regardless, push forward rather than play back, and for many of those who do not, the default reaction when the ball is dug in is to duck first and turn the head away rather than watch. It is a kind of complacency. What has happened to Phil Hughes might just sober them up.