Cricketer Phillip Hughes dies from brain injury

Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes has died two days after being struck in the head by a bouncer while batting for South Australia at the SCG.

Australia team doctor Peter Brukner confirmed the news via a written statement on Thursday afternoon.

"It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away," he wrote.

"He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday.

"He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends.

"As a cricket community we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time."

The Hughes family said they are devastated by Phillip's death.

Reading from a prepared statement on behalf of the family, Australian captain Michael Clarke said: "We are devastated by the loss of our much-loved son and brother Phillip."

"Cricket was Phillip's life and we as a family share that love of the game with him.

"We would like to thank all the medical and nursing staff at St Vincent's Hospital and Cricket NSW medical staff for their great efforts with Phillip.

"We love you."

Hughes, 25, had been in an induced coma at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney since the accident on Tuesday afternoon.

He was in fine form for South Australia, and in line to regain a place in the Test team, when felled by a bouncer from NSW paceman Sean Abbott in Sheffield Shield action at the SCG.

The 26-Test left-hander underwent emergency surgery to reduce pressure on his brain later that day and remained in intensive care.

News of his death broke just before long-time teammates David Warner and his wife Candice Falzon left the hospital in tears.

David Warner and Candice Falzon leaving St Vincent's Hospital after Hughes' passing. Source: AAP
David Warner and Candice Falzon leaving St Vincent's Hospital after Hughes' passing. Source: AAP

Dozens more players were hugging and crying into each other's shoulders as they left the hospital minutes later.

Among them were Test stars Steve Smith, Ryan Harris, and Mitchell Starc, as well as former captain Ricky Ponting and an inconsolable Moises Henriques.

The players had been among a large group paying their respects in a bedside vigil.

Sean Abbott leaving St Vincent's Hospital, supported by Simon Katich. Source: AAP
Sean Abbott leaving St Vincent's Hospital, supported by Simon Katich. Source: AAP

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland said the word tragedy is used too often in sport, but this was a true tragedy.

"Phil has been taken away from us to soon," Sutherland said.

"It's an understatement to say we're completely devastated. The impact of Phillip's loss is enormous.

"He will forever be remembered as one of the elite few to have worn the baggy green cap, cap number 408.

"In the darkest hours, cricket puts its collective arms around the Hughes family."

The Australian Cricketers Association chief executive Alistair Nicholson said cricketers far and wide had been rocked by the "devastating event".

"Phillip Hughes died playing the sport that he loved amongst those who loved him," Nicholson said.

"His final shot typified his approach to the game - aggressive, positive and defiant."

South Australian Cricket Association chief executive Keith Bradshaw described Hughes' passing as "devastating".

“He was a very popular member of both the West End Redbacks and Adelaide Strikers cricket teams and a favourite of the SACA members and cricket fans across South Australia and Australia, and we are all struggling to come to terms with the news,” Mr Bradshaw said.

“Loved by everyone, Phillip was a really terrific person and a remarkable talent. He had many friends and team-mates here and interstate that will need support, and it is important we offer them our love and care as we all come to terms with this tragic event."

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott released a statement praising Hughes as a "young man living out his dreams".

"His death is a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family," Mr Abbott said.

"What happened has touched millions of Australians. For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration.

"He was loved, admired and respected by his teammates and by legions of cricket fans."

Social media reacted with shock and sadness to the news.

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Hughes played 26 Test matches for Australia, averaging 32.65, making three Test centuries. He was the youngest player to score back-to-back centuries in the same match, in only his second Test. In his 114 first class matches, he scored more than 9000 runs, at an average of 46.51.