Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Bumpy: County Players, Coaches And Fans Saddened By Hughes Death

Bumpy: County Players, Coaches And Fans Saddened By Hughes Death

Worcestershire CCC Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes says the club's players, coaches and supporters are "shocked and saddened" by the death of Australian Test batsman Phil Hughes at the age of 25.

Hughes, who was a popular figure when he played for Worcestershire during the 2012 season, has passed away at the age of 25 after being hit on the head by a delivery at the Sydney Cricket Ground two days ago.

Australia team doctor Peter Brukner said Hughes never regained consciousness and died in hospital in Sydney.

Rhodes said: "The players, coaches and supporters of Worcestershire CCC are both shocked and saddened to lose such a talented cricketer and tremendous friend at such a tender age.

"Phil was popular with everyone here at New Rd and our thoughts go out to his family in this difficult time.

"His life has been taken away playing a game he loved on a cricket ground he loved in his home state of NSW.

"He will long be remembered for his run making ability but in the dressing rooms where he padded up we all will remember the quiet team man sat in the corner with a cheeky smile who was 'Hughsie'.

"The thing about Hughesie is you forget he was a really young bloke (23) when he came to us as well and in some ways an inmature dressing room – in terms of their ages –  were excited by such a gifted Test cricketer coming to join us.

"They weren't sure how he was going to be – and when he came he was very much a down to earth country boy who just wanted to get on and play cricket. He went down so well with the team and everyone.

"There was no 'I'm a Test cricketer' about him. He was just a colleague in the team."

Rhodes added: "I think what he enjoyed about Worcestershire was the fact the team were so close and the dressing room was so good and socially were altogether and live quite close together which suited him fine.

"The place itself was not a big city which suited him, he preferred the country life, and the overall ambience and nature of Worcestershire is what appealed to him.

"He was very well liked because he didn't have a bad word to say about anyone and had a cheeky sort of personality, very happy and very smiley and was a real popular member of the side."

Hughes admitted his spell at New Road was key to him regaining his Test spot for the 2013 Ashes.

Rhodes said: "We just wanted to give him a platform to try and do that and we did. But the main work was done by Phil. We gave him an oppoortunity to get back in there and play and he managed to do it.

"A wonderful a player but more importantly a real sort of humble and wonderful person. He was popular with everyone. Moeen and him got on with him really well, Coxy (Ben Cox) got on really well with him but you couldn't fail to get on with him.

"He was a good role model, a good professional and in many ways that easy going country boy, farming type who sat in a corner and got on with his job which was scoring runs. He was well liked, the lads loved him, loved his company."

Hughes had CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before being taken to hospital and placed in an induced coma.

In a statement, Brukner said: "It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away. He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday.

"He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends.

"As a cricket community we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip's family and friends at this incredibly sad time.

"Cricket Australia kindly asks that the privacy of the Hughes family, players and staff be respected."