Phillip Hughes dead: Emotional Michael Clarke reads out a statement from the late cricketer's family

Video: The captain was visibly shaken as he read the statement

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The Independent Online

The Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke has delivered a statement on behalf of the family of Phillip Hughes, who died two days after being struck on the head by a ball.

Hughes would have turned 26 this Sunday. He was injured while batting for South Australia against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

Clarke had to compose himself before delivering a statement from the Hughes family, holding his head in his hands and making a quick glance at the assembled media. It was the only time he looked up during the brief press conference.

The family statement - from Greg (Hughes' father), Virginia (mother), Jason (brother) and (sister) Megan - read:

"We're devastated by the loss of our much-loved son and brother Phillip.

"It's been a very difficult few days, we appreciate 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 New South Wales medical staff for their great efforts with Phillip.

"We love you."

Clarke then briefly paused, his head bowed, before standing up and exiting the room without looking up.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has led the tributes to Hughes since his death was announced.

"Phillip Hughes was a young man living out his dreams," said the Australian Prime Minister.

He also noted that the public should shares sympathies for Sean Abbot, who bowled the bouncer that struck Hughes.

"We should also remember Sean Abbott ( who would be absolutely devastated at this tragic accident," he said.

"The thought that a player in his prime should be killed playing our national game is shocking and sobering. We should be conscious of the risks that our sportspeople run to give us the pleasure that they do. What happened has touched millions of Australians."

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