The grim news of the Australian’s batsman’s death quickly reached England at their hotel in Colombo, and a team statement expressing condolence was swiftly made.
One of thousands posted on Twitter since the cricket world heard that 25-year-old Hughes had passed away, England’s read: “Our deepest sympathies go out to Phil Hughes’s family, friends and team-mates at this incredibly sad time.
“Phil was admired and respected by all he played with and against and will never be forgotten by the cricket community.”
Hughes’s plight, while he was critically ill in hospital, had already extended an atmosphere of shock and disbelief over the start of the ODI series.
England lost a high-scoring first match by 25 runs on Wednesday at the Premadasa Stadium, and will be back there tomorrow morning for the second fixture of seven.
Before play begins, though, they and their hosts will fall silent for two minutes – and both teams will also wear black armbands as they pay respect to a cricketer almost all of them have played with or against.
The tourists cancelled a planned press conference yesterday, but are expected to hold one today – as well as a practice session.
Steven Finn, a team-mate of Hughes’s at Middlesex, was among the England players who posted a personal message on Twitter.
The fast bowler wrote: “Devastated to hear of Phil Hughes’s passing. Such a sad day for everyone. Condolences to his family and friends. Champion of a man! RIP”