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Phillip Hughes: Critical after being struck in the head with a cricket ball.

phillip hughes critical condition
Phillip Hughes. Image via Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.

First class batsman Phillip Hughes remains in a critical condition this morning after being hit in the head by a cricket ball at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday.

The South Australian batsman was rushed to hospital after he was struck by a Sean Abbott bouncer and collapsed during a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales.

The 25-year-old was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital and had surgery to relieve pressure on his brain caused by internal bleeding.

The Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said the South Australian cricketer was in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

It was understood Hughes was still in an induced coma. The 25-year-old was wearing a helmet but footage showed the ball hit him under the back of it near the base of his skull.

He bent over before collapsing to the ground and was taken off the field on a stretcher.

New South Wales bowler Abbott is reportedly receiving counselling over the incident.

The incident resulted in an outpouring of support for Hughes and his family with Cricket Australia extending its “thoughts and prayers” to the family.

England captain Alastair Cook said it was a very sad incident that had affected his side, many of whom had played alongside Hughes in county cricket.

“When I woke up this morning, the whole dressing room, the whole team have been in a bit of shock all day really, all our thoughts and our prayers are with Phillip,” he said.

“Guys from Worcester, guys from Middlesex and quite a lot of us have played against him, so it’s a really saddening incident and fingers crossed he can show the same fight that he has throughout his whole career and he can pull through.”

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Queensland Bulls coach Stuart Law said the injury to Hughes was a dreadful reminder that cricket was a dangerous game.

He said the Queensland and Tasmanian players lining up for day two of their clash at Allan Border Field wished Hughes all the best.

“Incidents like this do … happen infrequently but when they do they really do hit home,” he said.

phillip hughes critical condition
Phillip Hughes. Image via Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.

“So look, we all love and respect the fact that Phil Hughes has been a champion cricketer and look we’re hoping that one day he’ll put the baggy green on again,” Law said.

One of Australia’s best female cricketers, Holly Ferling, said every cricketer worried about being hit on the head and that it may be time for a review of helmet design.

“I think it’d be worthwhile doing some research into it, whether they can come up with something that’s effective for a batsman to use,” she said.

“It might have to be something that we get used to, or whether it does actually impede the way we play, those decisions are going to have to be made.”

Hughes was one of a number of batsmen in line for a possible Test recall following reports Australian captain Michael Clarke had been ruled out of the first Test against India at the Gabba.

He has played 26 Test matches for three centuries, but has not played Test cricket since Australia played England at Lord’s in July 2013.

This article originally appeared on ABC and has been republished here with full permission.

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