Australia in shock over death of Phil Hughes

MELBOURN: Phillip Hughes, the Australia Test batsman struck on the head by a ball two days ago, has died after succumbing to a serious head injury, Cricket Australia chief executive officer James Sutherland has confirmed.

The 25-year-old passed away after he was hit in the back-left side of the head while batting for South Australia against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

Hughes was an Australian international who had made 26 Test appearances as well as playing in 25 One-Day Internationals for his country, and had been tipped for a recall due to his impressive form of late.

Sutherland announced the tragic news on Thursday morning and said that it was a "real-life tragedy" and had left everyone involved "completely devastated".

"The word tragedy gets used far too often in sport but this freak accident is now a real-life tragedy.

Australia's Phil Hughes playing a shot next to South Africa's Mark Boucher during the third day of the second cricket test match in Durban, on March 8, 2009. (Reuters file photo)

"It's an understatement to say that we are completely devastated. Our grief runs deep and the impact of Phillip's loss is enormous but nothing compares to the loss felt by those closest to him.

"Phillip was a cherished son, brother, friend and team-mate. In these darkest of hours cricket puts its collective arms around the Hughes family."

In a statement, Australia team doctor Peter Brukner said: "It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away. He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday.

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