Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes

The young pace bowler delivered a bouncer which hit Hughes on the back, lower left side of his head during a match on Tuesday

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The Independent Online

Messages of support have flooded in for Australian bowler Sean Abbott who delivered the ball which struck batsman Phillip Hughes on the head.

The young pace bowler delivered a bouncer which hit Hughes on the back, lower left side of his head during a match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

The world of cricket has today been offering tributes to Hughes after he passed away in hospital, as well as messages of support to Abbott.

Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist was among those offering his support, writing on Twitter: "May those footprints in the sand now support another young man in need. #SeanAbbott".

The official Cricket Australia Twitter feed added: "The strength of the cricket family is more important than ever on this incredibly sad day. Please keep Sean Abbott in your thoughts."

Former England cricket captain Sir Ian Botham tweeted: "A very sad day for the world of cricket. So sorry for Phillip Hughes and his family. Spare a thought for Sean Abbott."

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew also wrote on Twitter: "Just another ball in just another game. Batsmen are struck all the time & invariably brush it off. A tragedy for Hughes family & Sean Abbott".

England cricketer Ian Bell tweeted: "Absolutely devastated to hear that Phil has passed away. Thoughts and prayers with his family and friends. #RIPPhillipHughes".

This was followed up with: "Please spare a thought for Sean Abbott too. Horrendous".

Hughes, who was wearing a protective helmet, collapsed face first onto the pitch after being hit by the ball as he attempted a pull shot during the match between South Australia and New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Australian team doctor Peter Brukner, who announced the death today, said Hughes had never regained consciousness following his injury.

"He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends," he said.

"As a cricket community we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip's family and friends at this incredibly sad time.

Phil Hughes was given oxygen and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the pitch by a team doctor (Getty Images)

"Cricket Australia kindly asks that the privacy of the Hughes family, players and staff be respected."

In a statement the England team, who are currently in Sri Lanka for a one-day series, said: "Our deepest sympathies go out to Phil Hughes' family, friends and team-mates at this incredibly sad time.

"Phil was admired and respected by all he played with and against and will never be forgotten by the cricket community."

Additional reporting by PA