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Australia's Phil Hughes to undergo scans after surgery

SYDNEY: Australia cricketer Phillip Hughes remains in critical condition and will have more scans on Wednesday after undergoing emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain at a Sydney hospital.

The batsman suffered a severe head injury when he was struck by a ball during a domestic match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

Cricket Australia (CA) have called off the current round of Sheffield Shield matches out of respect for Hughes, while news of the accident stunned the global cricket community and prompted a huge wave of sympathy for the 26-test player.

“We’ve spoken to players and the ACA, and given how players across the country are feeling right now, it’s just not the day to be playing cricket and we understand that,” CA official Pat Howard said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We are continuing to offer all players and match officials counselling and support at this difficult time,” added Howard, who is CA’s Executive General Manager of Team Performance.

“Phillip Hughes continues to receive 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.”

Batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match on Tuesday, Hughes was hit by a short-pitched delivery from fast bowler Sean Abbott.

Hughes turned his head to avoid the ball as it bounced up at him, and though footage is unclear the ball appeared to strike him on the lower part of the back of his head.

Players and medical staff rushed to his aid as he fell face first to the ground.

Hughes was fitted with a ventilator to aid his breathing and rushed by ambulance to St Vincent’s hospital where he remains in the intensive care unit in an induced coma.

‘FREAK INCIDENT’

Equipment manufacturer Masuri said the 25-year-old was wearing their older model helmet and that he might have been better protected had he worn their latest version.

“The main difference is we have more coverage with the grill behind the ear and the back of the helmet is dropped down slightly,” Sam Miller, Masuri’s managing director, told British broadcaster Sky Sports.

“The third difference is the grill is slightly further away from the head so had the ball made any impact on that grill it might have deflected and helped but we can’t tell from the footage whether that would have happened.”

England captain Alastair Cook said the thoughts and prayers of his team were with Hughes, who has played for English county sides Middlesex, Hampshire and Worcestershire.

“It’s taken us all with a lot of shock and we’re quite disturbed by it,” he told the BBC.

“It’s a really damp atmosphere in our change room at the moment … Hopefully he’ll pull through.”

Fast bowler Abbott, who bowled the ball that reared up and struck Hughes on the helmet, had received counselling over the incident, local media reported.

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee told local broadcaster Channel Nine that Abbott would be “going through a really tough time right now”.

“I know first-hand that no one goes out there to try and maim a batsman, no one tries to hurt a batsman,” Lee said.

Abbott was seen cradling the stricken Hughes immediately after he was felled.

“It says a lot about Sean, doesn’t it?” Sutherland told reporters on Wednesday.

“Sean will have all the support he needs around him.

“I’m sure his team mates and everyone don’t feel in any way ill of him for what happened.

“It’s a freak, freak incident that’s happened.” (Reuters)

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