Australian batsman Hughes dies from head injury

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Australian batsman Hughes dies from head injury
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia falls to the ground after being struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia falls to the ground after being struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia falls to the ground after being struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) Phillip Hughes of South Australia is helped by New South Wales players after falling to the ground after being struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) Phillip Hughes of South Australia is helped by New South Wales players after falling to the ground after being struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) Phillip Hughes of South Australia is helped by New South Wales players after falling to the ground after being struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: This sequence of images 459545636, 459545626, 459545640, 459545628, 459545608, 459545620, 459545632, 459545614 shows Phillip Hughes of South Australia as he is struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Hughes has undergone surgery and is in a critical condition. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) Phillip Hughes of South Australia lays on a stretcher after being struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke reacts during a press conference in Sydney on November 27, 2014 following the announcement of the death of Australian cricketer Philip Hughes. Australian batsman Phillip Hughes died on November 27 from a head injury after a sickening on-field blow in one of the highest-profile sporting fatalities since the death of Formula One great Ayrton Senna.AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke (C) arrives for a press conference in Sydney on November 27, 2014 following the announcement of the death of Australian cricketer Philip Hughes. Australian batsman Phillip Hughes died on November 27 from a head injury after a sickening on-field blow in one of the highest-profile sporting fatalities since the death of Formula One great Ayrton Senna.AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia is struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia bats during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia is struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia bats during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Cricket Australia team doctor Peter Brukner briefs the media outside Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital on November 26, 2014, where Australian batsman Phillip Hughes remains in a critical condition after been felled by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match on November 25. The 25-year-old, who was pressing for a Test recall, was knocked out by a Sean Abbott bouncer in a freak incident at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday, crumbling to the ground unconscious after the heavy blow to the lower head. He underwent surgery and was in an induced coma in intensive care at St Vincent's Hospital. AFP PHOTO/WIlliam WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2011 file photo Australia's batsman Phillip Hughes celebrates after scoring a century during the fourth days' play of the third cricket test match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Hughes died in a Sydney hospital on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014, two days after being struck in the head by a cricket ball during a domestic first-class match. He was 25. (AP Photo/ Eranga Jayawardena, File)
Australia's Phillip Hughes during a nets session two days before the start of the fourth Ashes series cricket match against England at the Riverside cricket ground, Chester-le-Street, England, Wednesday Aug. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Australia's Phillip Hughes, left, is lbw by England's Graeme Swann during day fiyr of the second Ashes Test at Lord's cricket ground in London, Sunday, July 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Australia's batsman Phillip Hughes plays a shot during the fourth days' play of the third test cricket match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011.(AP Photo/ Eranga Jayawardena)
Australia's batsman Phillip Hughes, left, plays a shot as Sri Lankan wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardena looks on during the fourth days' play of the third test cricket match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011.(AP Photo/ Eranga Jayawardena)
Australia's batsman Phillip Hughes, right, celebrates after scoring a century as his team mate Ricky Ponting, left, pats him during the fourth days' play of the third test cricket match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011.(AP Photo/ Eranga Jayawardena)
Australia's Phillip Hughes avoids a bouncer from England's Andrew Flintoff on his way to an innings of 36 on the second day of the first cricket test match between England and Australia in Cardiff, Wales, Thursday July 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Australia's Phillip Hughes avoids a bouncer from England's Andrew Flintoff on the second day of the first cricket test match between England and Australia in Cardiff, Wales, Thursday July 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Australia's Phillip Hughes defends his wicket on the second day of the first cricket test match between England and Australia in Cardiff, Wales, Thursday, July 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Australia's batsman Phillip Hughes celebrates his century on the third day of the second test match against South Africa at Kingsmead stadium in Durban, South Africa, Sunday March 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Australia's batsman Phillip Hughes watches his shot on the third day of the second test match against South Africa at Kingsmead stadium in Durban, South Africa, Sunday March 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia is struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia is struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia bats during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Hughes of South Australia bats during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 02: Phillip Hughes of Australia 'A' looks on during the Cricket Australia Quadrangular Series Final match between Australia 'A' and India 'A' at Marrara Oval on August 2, 2014 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 02: Phillip Hughes of Australia 'A' bats during the Cricket Australia Quadrangular Series Final match between Australia 'A' and India 'A' at Marrara Oval on August 2, 2014 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 02: Phillip Hughes of Australia 'A' adjusts his helmet during the Cricket Australia Quadrangular Series Final match between Australia 'A' and India 'A' at Marrara Oval on August 2, 2014 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 02: Cameron White and Phillip Hughes of Australia 'A' walk out to open the innings during the Cricket Australia Quadrangular Series Final match between Australia 'A' and India 'A' at Marrara Oval on August 2, 2014 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 10: Phillip Hughes looks on during an Australian nets session at Centurion Park on February 10, 2014 in Centurion, South Africa. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)
CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 11: Phillip Hughes fields the ball during an Australian nets session at Centurion Park on February 11, 2014 in Centurion, South Africa. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 04: Phillip Hughes of the Redbacks plays a cut shot during the Ryobi Cup match between the South Australia Redbacks and the Victoria Bushrangers at Bankstown Oval on October 4, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 6: Phillip Hughes, David Warner and Glenn Maxwell pose with children from local schools as members of the Australia Team take part in the ICC Chance to Shine programme at Edgbaston on June 6, 2013 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - MAY 29: Phillip Hughes of Australia during the Australia Portrait Session at The St David Hotel on May 29, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Christopher Lee-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 04: Phillip Hughes of Australia speaks after being named the Domestic Player of the Year during the 2013 Allan Border Medal awards ceremony at Crown Palladium on February 4, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 18: Phillip Hughes of Australia edges the ball to Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka during game three of the Commonwealth Bank One Day International Series between Australia and Sri Lanka at The Gabba on January 18, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 04: Phillip Hughes of Australia walks out to bat during day two of the Third Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 4, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 04: Phillip Hughes of Australia bats during day two of the Third Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 4, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images)
HOBART, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 18: Phillip Hughes of Australia looks on during day five of the First Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Blundstone Arena on December 18, 2012 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
HOBART, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 14: Phillip Hughes of Australia speaks to the media after day one of the First Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Blundstone Arena on December 14, 2012 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Phillip Hughes of Australia bats during day one of the Second Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 21: Phillip Hughes of the Redbacks bats during the Ryobi One Day Cup match between the South Australian Redbacks and the Queensland Bulls at Adelaide Oval on October 21, 2012 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)
Australian batsman Phillip Hughes walks off at the tea break on the third day of the second cricket Test match played at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, on December 11, 2011. IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Australian paceman James Pattinson (2nd R) is congratulated by teammates Phillip Hughes (2nd L) and Ricky Ponting (R) after dismissing New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor on the fourth day of the first cricket Test match between Australia and New Zealand at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 4, 2011. IMAGE STRICTLY RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
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SYDNEY (AP) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in a Sydney hospital on Thursday from a "catastrophic" injury to his head, two days after being struck by a delivery during a domestic first-class match. He was 25.

An emotional Australia captain Michael Clarke, trying to compose himself several times, read a brief statement on behalf of Hughes' parents, brother and sister at a packed news conference at St. Vincent's Hospital 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, and we as a family shared that love of the game with him," Clarke read, before thanking the medical staff and holding back tears as left the room.

Dr. Tony Grabs, a surgeon and director of trauma services at St. Vincent's, said Hughes had died from a rare injury - there have been only 100 documented cases of vertebral artery dissection - which resulted in severe bleeding on the cricketer's brain.

After a CAT scan of the head, Grabs said, "He had extensive surgery to remove some of the skull from around his brain to help allow the brain to expand so it wasn't compressed."

Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said Hughes did not make very much improvement over the 48 hours and "unfortunately, as a consequence of the injury, he died."

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Hughes was immensely talented and dearly loved: "Without doubt, he was a rising star whose best cricket was still ahead of him."

"The word tragedy gets used too often in sport, but this freak accident is real life tragedy," Sutherland said. "Just days short of his 26th birthday, Phillip has been taken away from us too soon. He will forever be remembered as one of the elite few to have worn the baggy green cap, cap number 408."

Hughes' mother and sister were at the match when he was he was hurt, and kept vigil at the hospital. Clarke, a close friend, was among dozens of former and current teammates and stars of the game who visited the hospital to offer their support.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Hughes as a "young man living out his dream," adding "It's a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family."

"For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration," he said.

Messages of support poured in from all around the world after Hughes stumbled, leaned over and then collapsed after being hit behind the left ear when he mis-timed a shot to a short-pitch delivery while batting for South Australia against New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield match.

Deaths are rare in cricket, although Hughes is the second player in two years to sustain a fatal blow.

Cricketer Phillip Hughes Dies

Darryn Randall, who was 32 and a former first-class player in South Africa, was killed after being struck on the side of the head during a Border Cricket Board Premier League match in the Eastern Cape last year.

In 1998, former India test player Raman Lamba died after being struck on the head while fielding during a domestic match in Bangladesh. Nottinghamshire's George Summers died after being hit on the head while batting at Lord's in 1870, and Abdul Aziz died after he was hit over the heart in a 1959 Pakistan first-class match.

Images of Hughes collapsing at the SCG were broadcast almost instantly across Australia on Tuesday, and satellite TV trucks and dozens of news crews started reporting regular updates on his condition from outside the hospital.

At the Australian Open golf tournament not far from St. Vincent's hospital, a large gallery following Adam Scott were heard to gasp as word of Hughes' death filtered through the crowd. Some wiped tears from their eyes.

Hughes played 26 test matches for Australia after making his debut 2009, but despite a sparkling start to his international career, he was not able to earn a regular spot in the starting lineup.

After making an assured 75 in his first test innings against South Africa at Johannesburg, he posted centuries in each innings of his second test and, at 20, became one of the youngest players ever to do that in test cricket. But he struggled on the subsequent tour of England and was in and out of the Australian team four more times. He was on the verge of another test recall, with an assured 63, when he was fatally struck.

The injury sparked debate about short-pitch bowling in the game.

Bouncers, where a fast bowler aims to push the batsman back toward the stumps with a ball that lands halfway down the pitch and rears up above chest or head height, are still a regular and acceptable part of the game.

The International Cricket Council revised its laws on short-pitch bowling in the early 1990s, putting restrictions on the number of short-pitch balls allowed per over to stamp out bowlers merely using the delivery to intimidate batsmen.

Hughes was wearing a helmet when he attempted to hook a short-pitch ball from New South Wales fast bowler Sean Abbott. Sutherland said Abbott was being counselled, had visited Hughes in the hospital and had been consoled by Clarke and members of Hughes' family.

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