Sydney: Traumatised players from the New South Wales and South Australia sides are being offered counselling after batsman Phillip Hughes was taken to the hospital following a shocking head injury that needed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and surgery.
The left-handed batsman was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital and is reportedly in a critical condition - doctors have kept him in induced coma - after being hit by a Sean Abbott bouncer at the Sydney Cricket Ground here today.
Playing in a Sheffield Shield game, South Australia's Hughes collapsed to the ground face first after a delivery from NSW bowler Abbott struck him on the head. Hughes was carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital where he was put in an induced coma following surgery.
The incident left the players from both sides shocked and traumatised as they witnessed the painful sight of the 25-year-old lying motionless on the ground.
Alastair Nicholson, recently appointed the chief executive of the Australian Cricketers Association, said:
"We were obviously shocked to learn of the seriousness of the incident involving Phil. While we have faith that he's receiving the best available treatment, the situation will impact his family, friends, and those directly involved on the field.
"The ACA is therefore working closely with CA to arrange the appropriate counselling for those affected. Naturally our thoughts are with him and we wish him well from all the ACA members," he was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'.
Hughes, who has played 26 Tests, made his debut in the longest format at the age of 20 against South Africa in 2009. In only his second match, he became the youngest batsman to post two centuries in a Test match.
Raised in Macksville in country NSW, Hughes made his name with the Blues before moving to South Australia for the 2012-13 season. Australia opening batsman David Warner, who was there with the injured batsman in the hospital today, had Hughes at the other end when he made his Test debut at the Gabba against New Zealand in 2011.
Players were reportedly heard crying at SCG. The turn of events led to the match being abandoned.