Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener 'fights for his life'

Australian opener was caught by a bouncer from Sean Abbott during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground

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The world of cricket was in a state of shock on Tuesday as the Australian batsman Phil Hughes lay critically ill in hospital. He had to undergo emergency surgery after being struck by a horrendous blow on the head while playing a bouncer at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Live video footage reveals ball missed Hughes' helmet

He was placed in an induced coma following an operation to relieve pressure on his brain. The outcome is unlikely to be known for another day or so but the gravity of the 25-year-old’s condition and the perils faced by batsmen from a ball being propelled at speeds around 90mph even when wearing a helmet were in no doubt.

In Colombo, where England and Sri Lanka are preparing for a one-day series, there was a deep sense of concern and distress for a fellow player – and one who happens to be highly popular. That sombre mood was shared by cricketers everywhere, who were starkly reminded of the dangers inherent in the game.

Alastair Cook, the England captain, said: “The whole team have been in shock all day. All our thoughts and prayers are with Philip. We have guys from Worcestershire and Middlesex, where he played, and a lot of us have played against him. It’s a really saddening incident and fingers crossed he can show the fight he has throughout his whole career and pull through.”

**Warning - the video below contains graphic material**

Hughes was on 63 not out playing for South Australia against his former side New South Wales on the first day of a Sheffield Shield match. He was making a solid case to be recalled to the Australia side for the first Test of the winter against India next week.

Phil-Hughes-3.jpgHughes received several short balls from the fast bowler Sean Abbott which he ducked or backed away from. Faced with another bouncer, he went for a hook and missed. The ball hit him behind the ear on the left side as he turned his head, evading the protection of the helmet.He stood motionless for a few seconds with his hands on his knees, then collapsed.

Hughes is escorted by stretcher to an air ambulance that has landed on the SCG pitch

The team’s medical staff were summoned urgently on to the pitch by concerned fielders, and a motionless Hughes was placed on a stretcher. He was treated at the side of the pitch by NSW team doctor John Orchard and received mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and oxygen after he appeared to stop breathing at one point. Hughes was then taken to the city’s St Vincent Hospital.


Cricket Australia (CA) team doctor Peter Brukner later said that Hughes had “sustained a severe head injury” and “remains in a critical condition” after surgery.

Hughes is carted away before being transported by air to hospital

The Australian Cricket Association’s chief executive, Alastair Nicholson, said: “While we have faith that he’s receiving the best available treatment, the situation will impact his family, friends and those directly involved on the field. The ACA is therefore working closely with CA to arrange the appropriate counselling for those affected.”

Hughes had scored 63 before he was hit on the head

Australia’s captain, Michael Clarke, a close friend, visited him in hospital. The match was abandoned.

Cricket in shock: Reaction to the incident

David Warner Thoughts are with my little mate Hughsy and his family. He is a fighter and a champion and he will get through this. Praying for you buddy

Damien Martyn Thoughts and prayers for Phil Hughes and his family. We sit silently and pray he recovers from this.

Shane Warne We are all thinking of you Phil Hughes. Prayers & best wishes for a speedy recovery to you & your family. Hang tough my buddy... #cricketfamily

Jason Gillespie Our thoughts are with  Phil Hughes and his family. Feeling for everyone that  was at the game too. #staystrong

Virat Kohli Thoughts and prayers with Phil Hughes all the way. Fight it out mate. You are a top man. All the strength goes out to you and your family.

Alastair Cook It’s taken us – when we woke up this morning... [trails off] The whole dressing room, the whole team have been in a bit of shock all day really, to be honest with you. All our thoughts and prayers are with Phillip

Michael Vaughan Just woke to the Devastating news about Phil Hughes... Thoughts are with his family... #CricketFamily

Matt Prior What horrible news to wake up to! Thoughts and prayers with #PhilHughes and his family! #staystrong

Andrew Flintoff Prayers are with Phil Hughes and his family, wishing him all the best cracking lad!

Paul Collingwood Come on, Phil you’re a fighter. Thoughts are with you and your family #PhilHughes

Kevin Pietersen #PrayForPhilHughes