Phillip Hughes: Australia suspends Test match in wake of tragic death

Game was set to take place day after batsman's funeral

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The Independent Online

A Test cricket match in Brisbane has been postponed in the wake of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes’ untimely death just days ago.

The batsman, 25, was the victim of a freak accident when a cricket ball hit him on top of the neck during a match in Sydney on Tuesday.

He collapsed instantly and, despite attempts to revive him by medical staff both on the field and in hospital, he never regained consciousness. His death was confirmed on Thursday.

Australia was set to play India in their first Test match on Thursday, December 4, but have postponed the game to another date, as yet unconfirmed.

“We simply couldn't or wouldn't expect our players to be emotionally ready to start a Test,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland told the BBC.

“Their welfare is our absolute priority. They are grieving and to expect that they could play a high-pressured, five-day Test match the following day is out of the question.”

Hughes was hit by a “bouncer” delivered by bowler Sean Abbott in a match between New South Wales and Sheffield Shield. He was wearing a helmet when injured.

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The doctor who treated Hughes explained that his death had been caused by a rare “vertebral artery dissection” which led to a “massive bleed” in his brain.

As well as playing for the Australian national team, Hughes had also played for Hampshire, Middlesex and Worcestershire during his career.

Australia captain Michael Clarke read out a statement on behalf of Hughes’ family, including parents Greg and Virginia, sister Megan and brother Jason.

Speaking at St Vincent’s Hospital, where Hughes was treated, he said: “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.”

Hughes’ funeral is expected to take place on Wednesday. On Sunday the cricketer would have turned 26.

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