Cricket fans around the world were left reeling as news filtered through about the terrible injury received by Australian opening batsmen Phil Hughes whilst batting for the South Australian Redbacks against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Hughes was dealt a sickening blow to the head as he attempted to hook a Sean Abbott bouncer during the afternoon session of their BUPA Sheffield Shield match. Hughes slumped to the floor seemingly unconscious as concern spread across the players close to him.
On field treatment
The Australian opening batsmen received prolonged intensive treatment whilst on the field before being transported to Sydney’s St Vincent hospital in an ambulance. Hughes arrived at the hospital in a critical condition and immediately underwent surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain, before being placed into an induced coma. The next 24-48 hours will be crucial for Hughes in his recovery.
Twenty-five year-old Hughes, who has played 26 Test matches for Australia, looked to be favourite to take the place of Michael Clarke in the upcoming first Test against India.
Cricket, although with its dangers, does have a very good safety record in modern times. All cricketers wear helmets when batting and these helmets are designed to withstand the huge force that a cricket ball has when bowled in the region of 80-90mph. Although they will not stop injuries occurring entirely they have a very good record of deterring the most serious.
Cricket, like most sports, has become more safety conscious over time. Hughes’ injury appears to be a freak accident that we never want to see happen on a cricket pitch.
Cricket is not the only sport with dangers. There are the obvious dangers surrounding Motor Sport, as highlighted by the horrific injuries suffered by Formula One star Jules Bianchi who is still fighting for his life after the terrible accident at the Japanese Grand Prix in early October. Former World Champion Ayrton Senna is one notable death that has occurred in F1.
Horse Racing is another sport that suffers injuries regularly. Almost on a daily basis there are broken bones as riders fall from their horses, not to mention the countless other injuries that occur to those who horse ride for recreational purposes. Animals are unpredictable at times so for anyone involved with horses the threat of injury, or worse, is always there and is accepted.
Michael Schumacher’s accident whilst skiing highlighted the dangers of this particular sport. Like Horse Racing broken bones are common but severe head injuries, resulting in disability or even death, are also possible. Again protective head gear has helped reduce injury but the speed of the sport is such that injuries cannot be permanently stopped.
Cycling has had its fair share of disasters too and is also a sport that suffers a number of injuries at all levels. Recreationally cycling is the most common sport accounting for admissions to accident and emergency in hospitals due to either collisions with cars on our busy roads or because of the environment and speeds in more extreme cycling events, such as Mountain Biking. The World’s greatest cycling race, the Tour de France, has had tragedies in the past which have marred the race, although in recent times these incidents look to be very rare.
Which sport is regarded as the most dangerous in Britain?
Whilst all participants in the above mentioned sports accept that there are risks it is also accepted that the buzz and rewards from playing the sports outweigh the chances of injury.
Injuries like Hughes’ must not discourage people from playing the sport loved by so many people across the World and, thankfully, injuries to this extent are rare but that doesn’t make them any less shocking for everyone when they do occur.
All our thoughts at GiveMeSport are with Hughes and his family as he starts the greatest battle of his career. Also spare a thought for Sydney’s bowler Sean Abbott who must feel dreadful and the on-field players who witnessed the incident at first-hand.