Cricket: A sport left heartbroken by death of Hughes

Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:22am EST
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - The cricket world was in mourning on Thursday following the death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, who died in a Sydney hospital, two days after being hit in the head by a ball.

A game that is synonymous with the values of fair play and sportsmanship was left heartbroken at the loss of one its favourite sons, a kid from a banana plantation who dared to dream big.

That he died surrounded by his family and friends after being injured playing the game he loved, provided little solace to the millions of people that follow cricket.

"It's an understatement to say we're completely devastated," Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland told reporters.

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

Australia's pain was shared by the cricketing world. Cricket, perhaps more than most other sports, is played by a tight-knit community.

Only a handful of countries play the game professionally and opposing players spend months together, often dining and drinking together after matches.

Rarely has cricket been more united than now, the game's saddest day.

Overwhelmed by emotion, Australia's players were in tears as they filed out of St Vincent's hospital after bidding farewell to their fallen team mate.   Continued...

Australia's Phil Hughes celebrates reaching his century during the one-day international cricket match against Sri Lanka at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in this January 11, 2013 file photo.  REUTERS/David Gray/Files