Australian Cricketer Phillip Hughes Dies

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Sad news from The Guardian (source):  Cricketer Phillip Hughes has died in hospital after he was struck on the head by a short delivery during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old from Macksville, on the north coast of New South Wales, was playing for South Australia against NSW when he collapsed after he was hit on the lower back of the neck by a bouncer. He was taken to hospital in a critical condition and died on Thursday.

Hughes had remained in an induced coma at St Vincent’s hospital after having emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

But he never regained consciousness, according to a statement from the Australian team doctor, Peter Brukner on Thursday afternoon.

“It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away,” the statement read.

“He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends. As a cricket community we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time. Cricket Australia kindly asks that the privacy of the Hughes family, players and staff be respected.”

All Sheffield Shield matches were cancelled after Hughes suffered the injury. Cricket Australia faces a big decision on whether to go ahead with the opening Test of the summer against India next week.

Hughes, who was days away from his 26th birthday, played Test and one-day cricket for Australia, Sheffield Shield cricket for South Australia and county cricket for Worcestershire.

He made his Test debut against South Africa in 2009, making centuries in both innings of his second Test.

Hughes originally played for his home state before moving to South Australia.

Tributes began pouring in soon after the news, and flags flew at half mast at the SCG, New South Wales’s home ground.

Hughes’s former team, the South Australian Redbacks, said they had lost their mate “Hughesy.”

“Our deepest condolences to all his family and friends. He will be with us always.”

The prime minister, Tony Abbott, said Hughes’s death was “a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family.”

“What happened has touched millions of Australians,” Abbott said in a statement.

“For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration. He was loved, admired and respected by his teammates and by legions of cricket fans. Australians’ thoughts and prayers are with the Hughes family.”

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