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Phillip Hughes Dies at Age 25 After Being Struck by Cricket Ball

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 27, 2014

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 26:  Phil Hughes of Australia looks on during Day Five of the First Test between Pakistan and Australia at Dubai International Stadium on October 26, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australian cricket star Phil Hughes has passed away at the age of 25 following complications after a bouncer struck him in the head during a match with New South Wales.

According to a statement released by Australian team doctor Peter Brukner, via SMH Sport on Twitter, Hughes was never able to regain consciousness after the accident:

SMH Sport @SMHsport

Statement from Cricket Australia about the passing of Phillip Hughes http://t.co/1BrRrwP6N5

ESPNcricinfo @ESPNcricinfo

Pic: The Australian flag flies at half mast at the SCG following the death of Phillip Hughes http://t.co/EAkM9tfDPO http://t.co/iJklhVdpmI

CNN provided an additional statement from Dr. Brukner's press conference:

He said the ball hit the side of his neck and, 'as a result of that blow, his vertebral artery was compressed by the ball. That caused the artery to split and for bleeding to go up into the brain. And he had a massive bleed into his brain. This is frequently fatal at the time.'

But he said doctors on the scene, including a specialist who had been in the crowd, managed to resuscitate him. He was later taken to hospital where they made 'an intervention' to release pressure on his brain. He was then put in an induced coma but failed to recover.

In the initial report on BBC.com following news of Hughes' injury, Dr. Brukner said the talented batsman had "sustained a severe head injury" from a bouncer delivered by New South Wales' Sean Abbott.

Australia's upcoming tour match with India was cancelled following confirmation of Hughes' death, per the team's official account:

cricket.com.au @CricketAus

The CA XI v India match at Adelaide Oval has now been cancelled. It was scheduled for Fri-Sat, then moved to Sat-Sun but now abandoned.

New Zealand cricket instantly reacted to the news by announcing that Thursday's match with Pakistan would be suspended:

BLACKCAPS @BLACKCAPS

The @BLACKCAPS and @TheRealPCB have agreed to suspend play for today following death of Phil Hughes. More information to follow ^RI

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke read a statement on behalf of the family shortly after Hughes' passing, reported by Cricket Australia:

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cricket.com.au @CricketAus

"We love you" - @MClarke23 on behalf of Phillip Hughes's family as the cricket world mourns: http://t.co/CP5eqB6E2B https://t.co/82jdiYP3EW

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 07:  Phil Hughes of Australia 'A' looks on during the warm up beofre the start of the match between Australia 'A' and South Africa 'A' at Tony Ireland Stadium on August 7, 2014 in Townsville, Australia.  (Photo by Ian Hitchc
Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

According to a tribute article from Robert Craddock and Peter Badel of The Courier-Mail, Hughes' death strikes a particular chord with everyone in and around the sport because of how well liked he was throughout his career:

An impish cricketer with a warm, cheeky grin who had no enemies in the game, Hughes will forever be remembered as one of the game's most likeable characters.

His quirky home-made technique fashioned on the family banana farm in Macksville made him a captivating study of originality and hand-eye co-ordination.

His footwork was so subtle and his movement so expressive that no two shots he played ever looked quite the same.

The cricketing world immediately reacted on Twitter, with many star names and organisations expressing their condolences. Australia coach Darren Lehmann was among those who flew in to visit Hughes. He tweeted the following:

Darren Lehmann @darren_lehmann

RIP you little champ, we are all going to miss you ! Love, prayers to all the Hughes family xxxx

Current Australian international Steve Smith followed suit:

Steve Smith @stevesmith49

Rest in peace Hughesy. I am really going to miss you. You were 1 of the great blokes and I will never forget you. #408 will live on forever.

Cricketing icons Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath were joined by former Aussie batsman Greg Blewett in offering messages of support: 

Shane Warne @ShaneWarne

Woken to the horrific news about Hughesy ! I cannot describe the sadness I feel for the Hughes family & fellow cricket players, so so sad

Glenn McGrath @glennmcgrath11

Such terrible news with the passing of Phil Hughes. Our deepest sympathies to his family.

Greg Blewett @blewy214

Honoured to have spent the last few months with Hughesy. Absolute gun cricketer and even better young man.#numb #408

Tributes continue to pour in from across the globe for a truly well-respected character. South African stars Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn tweeted their reaction, as did English legend Sir Ian Botham:

Jacques Kallis @jacqueskallis75

Woke up to the news of Phil Hughes passing away. RIP buddy. Thoughts and prayers to friends and family. What a sad day.

Dale Steyn @DaleSteyn62

Totally saddened by the passing of our cricket brother and friend Phil Hughes. Terrible loss! Deepest condolences 2 his family! #RIPHughes

Ian Botham @BeefyBotham

A very sad day for the world of cricket. So sorry for Phillip Hughes and his family . Spare a thought for Sean Abbott.

England bowler James Anderson offered his sympathy, not only to Hughes' family but also bowler Abbott:

James Anderson @jimmy9

Can't quite believe the news. Devastating. My thoughts go out to Phil Hughes' family and friends. Thoughts also with Sean Abbott.

It is a mark of the admiration and fondness held for Hughes that the sport of cricket has instantly moved to pay tribute to his life.

The official account for Lord's tweeted its own gesture, while the Telegraph Sport in Australia has planned the following, per reporter Buzz Rothfield:

BUZZ ROTHFIELD @BuzzRothfield

Beautiful tribute. @telegraph_sport has retired the back page tomorrow as a mark of respect to Phillip Hughes http://t.co/Qblm9SGDCy

Lord's Cricket Ground @HomeOfCricket

Absolutely devastated to wake to the news of Phil Hughes' death. The MCC Flag at Lord's will be lowered in his memory.

Journalist Jesse Hogan passed on a message from the Indian cricket team, while legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar provided his thoughts:

Jesse Hogan @Jesse_Hogan

"We cherish the memories of playing along with him and deeply respect his contribution." India team on Phillip Hughes http://t.co/VlBs9d9j2y

Sachin Tendulkar @sachin_rt

Shocked to hear about Phil. Sad day for cricket. Deepest condolences to family, friends and well wishers. RIP #PhilipHughes

Hughes made 26 Test appearances in the Baggy Greens, scoring three centuries and getting to the 50 mark on seven occasions, per ESPNcricinfo. He averaged 32.65 runs, while posting a slightly higher rate of 35.91 during his 25-match ODI career, in which he scored two centuries.

He had undergone surgery and been placed in a medically induced coma before he passed away, per the Australian team's official website. Domestic cricket in Australia has been abandoned as the nation continues to mourn the loss of a cherished character.

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