Australia batsman Hughes left on life support machine

Australia batsman Phil Hughes is fighting for his life in intensive care after being struck on the head by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match.

Australia batsman Phil Hughes

Australia team doctor Peter Brukner has said there are likely to be no updates on the 25-year-old’s condition until later today, with Hughes in Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital on life support.

Despite wearing a helmet, Hughes – batting for South Australia – collapsed face first onto the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch, having been hit on the head after missing a pull shot off New South Wales pace bowler Sean Abbott.

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England captain Alastair Cook, speaking on the eve of the one-day series with Sri Lanka, said: “All our thoughts and prayers are with Phillip. We have guys who played with him from Worcester, Middlesex... and quite a few of us have played against him.

“It’s a sad incident and I hope he can show the same fight he’s shown his whole career.”

Cricket Australia stated on their official website that Hughes – well-known to English fans both internationally and domestically after spells with Hampshire, Middlesex and Worcestershire – had been “struck on the back, lower left side of the head”.

It said no blame could be attached to Abbott, a 22-year-old who made his Australia debut last month. Brukner added: “Phillip was treated on the ground by Cricket NSW medical staff and transferred by Ambulance to 
St Vincent’s Hospital.

“He subsequently underwent surgery and remains in a critical condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

“Phillip is receiving the best possible medical care. The thoughts of his team-mates and the wider cricket community are with Phillip and his family and friends at this difficult time.”

The left-hander, on 63, put a hand on his knee after being struck before falling face first to the ground. Play in the game was immediately suspended and the match later abandoned.

He was given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and oxygen on the boundary after being carried off the pitch on a stretcher.

The South Australian Cricket Association’s high performance manager Tim Nielsen was in the crowd with Hughes’s mother and sister and went to St Vincent’s, along with Australia captain Michael Clarke.

An injury to Clarke had led to talk of Hughes getting a recall for the Test series against India. His last appearance for Australia came in a one-day international against Pakistan in October.