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On This Day in 2014: Phillip Hughes Tragically Dies After Being Hit by Bouncer

The cricket world received a terrible jolt like never before on November 25, in 2014. That day, Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes, a serious prospect for the national cricket team, was hit on the side of his head by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield Match between South Australia and New South Wales at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

The opening batter fell to the ground, never regained consciousness and died in hospital two days later — on November 27. Hughes was just 25 and was a week away from celebrating his 26th birthday.

The southpaw reached his fifty in that match and was going well until he faced a bouncer while batting at 63. He missed Sean Abbott’s bouncer and was hit. Hughes seemed visibly dazed and within a couple of seconds collapsed to the ground due to a cerebral haemorrhage.

Players, support staff and medical team rushed onto the field and assisted in carrying the unconscious player back to the pavilion. He underwent surgery after being airlifted to a hospital in Sydney, the situation was so grim that players and authorities decided to halt the game.

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 the injury. The cricketing world came to a standstill, but frantic debates ensued on the nature of helmets and safety provisions for the players.

Hughes’ funeral was carried out on December 3, which was attended by cricketers of every stripe, and dignitaries including the Australian prime minister Tony Abbott further solemnised the occasion.

Overall, Hughes represented Australia in 26 Tests in which he scored 1535 runs including three centuries. He also played in 25 ODIs, scored 826 runs and returned with an average of 35.91 and strike rate of 75.09. His career best was an unbeaten 138 in a series-levelling effort against Sri Lanka in Hobart, 2013. Hughes played just a solitary T20I for his country.

The left-handed batter and occasional wicketkeeper had a stellar First-Class Record where he amassed 9,023 runs in 114 matches that included 26 hundreds and a best of 243. Hughes’ List-A record was equally impressive, as he aggregated 3,639 runs in 89 innings at an average of 47.25 including eight tons.

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