On this day in 2014: The cricket world received an unprecedented terrible jolt on November 25, in the year 2014. On that day, Australian cricketer Philip Hughes, a high prospect for the national cricket team, was hit on the side of the head by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and New South Wales. Wales at the famous Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
The opening batter fell to the ground, never regained consciousness and died in the hospital two days later – on November 27. Hughes was 25 years old and a week away from celebrating his 26th birthday.
South reached 50 in that game and was going well until he ran into a bouncer while batting at 63. He missed keeper Sean Abbott and was hit. Hughes appeared visibly dazed and within a few seconds collapsed to the floor with a cerebral hemorrhage.
Players, support staff and medical staff rushed onto the field and helped bring the unconscious player back to the wing. He underwent surgery after being airlifted to a Sydney hospital, and the situation was so grim that players and authorities decided to stop the match.
Two days passed with no positive reports emerging from the hospital, but fate had cruel plans, as on this very day (November 27), Hughes succumbed to injury. The world of cricket has come to a standstill, but there have been heated debates over the nature of helmets and safety provisions for players.
Hughes’ funeral was held on 3 December, and was attended by cricketers from every team, and dignitaries including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott held the occasion.
Overall, Hughes represented Australia in 26 Tests in which he scored 1,535 runs including three centuries. He also played in 25 ODIs, scoring 826 runs and returning at an average of 35.91 and a strike rate of 75.09. His career best was an unbeaten 138 in a bid to level the series against Sri Lanka in Hobart, 2013. Hughes has only played a single T20I for his country.
The left-handed batsman and occasional wicket-keeper had an excellent first-class record amassing 9,023 runs in 114 matches which included 26 hundreds and a best of 243. An innings averaged 47.25 including eight overs.