A day before the Sheffield Shield clash between South Australia and New South Wales began, New South Wales paceman Sean Abbott tweeted how excited he was to get back into long-form cricket.
But that excitement quickly turned to horror when, in the middle of the 49th over of the first day, Abbott bowled a short delivery that felled Hughes and inflicted “an incredibly rare type of injury”.
What Sean has gone through has been an incredibly traumatic experience … Sean is receiving all the possible support from Cricket NSW and Australia.Peter Brukner
A clearly devastated Abbott visited Hughes at St Vincent’s Hospital on the day before he died.
“Obviously, what Sean has gone through has been an incredibly traumatic experience, as it has been for everyone who was present on the field that day,” Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said.
“Sean is receiving all the possible support from Cricket NSW and Australia.
“Sean came to the hospital yesterday. He’s been receiving a lot of support from Cricket NSW and his team-mates.
“When he came to the hospital yesterday, Michael Clarke came down and spent a significant amount of time with him.
“Phillip’s sister also spent significant time with Sean.”
After the severity of Hughes’s condition became apparent, Cricket Australia (CA) announced the 22-year-old, and a number of other players around the country, were being offered counselling services.
“It says a lot about Sean doesn’t it,” CA chief executive James Sutherland told Austereo on Wednesday.
“Sean will have all the support he needs around him.