SYDNEY — Australian cricketer Phil Hughes died Thursday from a brain injury, two days after being struck by a cricket ball during a match. He was 25.
Hughes was wearing a helmet Tuesday when he was hit, but the ball struck him in the neck and caused hemorrhaging in his brain, doctors said. He never regained consciousness.
Australia captain Michael Clarke read a brief statement on behalf of Hughes' parents, brother and sister at a packed news conference that was broadcast live around Australia. "We're devastated by the loss of our much-loved son and brother Phillip. Cricket was Phillip's life," Clarke read, holding back tears before leaving the room. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Hughes was immensely talented. "Without doubt, he was a rising star whose best cricket was still ahead of him," he said. "The word tragedy gets used too often in sport, but this freak accident is real-life tragedy. Just days short of his 26th birthday, Phillip has been taken away from us too soon." Deaths are rare in cricket, although Hughes is the second player in two years to sustain a fatal blow.