Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, aged 25, has died from the injury he suffered two days ago during a Sheffield Shield match.
Hughes was hit on the head from a bouncer bowled by Sean Abbott and was unable to regain consciousness.
Australian team doctor Peter Brukner gave a news conference to announce Hughes’ passing. He revealed the batsman suffered a ‘Vertebral artery dissection’- a very ‘freakish’ case.
Brukner said: "It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away.
“Vertebral artery dissection is incredibly rare. If you look in the literature, there is only 100 cases reported. There is only one previous example caused by a cricket ball."
The blow forced an artery to compress, causing it to split and leading to a ‘massive bleed’ into the brain. The news has stunned the cricket world and Australia captain Michael Clarke read out a statement on behalf of Hughes’ family.
"We're devastated by the loss of our much-loved son and brother, Phillip. It's been a very difficult few days.
"We appreciate all the support we have received from family, friends, players, Cricket Australia and the general public.
"Cricket was Phillip's life and we as a family shared 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 New South Wales medical staff for their great efforts with Phillip. We love you."
Hughes in England
Brukner also said the 25-year-old, who would have turned 26 on Sunday, was surrounded by his friends and family when he died and was not in any pain.
Hughes made his debut in 2009 and became the youngest batsman to score two centuries in a match in only his second test. Hughes also played for English counties Hampshire, Middlesex and Worcestershire.