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Australian cricketer fights for life after ball strikes head

AUSTRALIAN cricket batsman Phil Hughes is fighting for his life in intensive care after being struck on the head by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match.

Last night, team doctor Peter Brukner said there would be no updates on the 25-year-old's condition until later today. Mr Hughes is currently in Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital on life support.

Despite wearing a helmet, Hughes - batting for South Australia - collapsed face first onto the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch, having been hit on the head after missing a pull shot off New South Wales pace bowler Sean Abbott.

Cricket Australia said on its official website that Mr Hughes had been "struck on the back, lower left side of the head".

It said no blame could be attached to Abbott, a 22-year-old who only made his Australia debut last month.

"Phillip Hughes sustained a severe head injury while batting for South Australia at the SCG today," Dr Brukner said in a statement.

"Phillip was treated on the ground by Cricket NSW medical staff and transferred by Ambulance to St Vincent's Hospital.

"He subsequently underwent surgery and remains in a critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit. Unless there is any significant change there will be no further updates on his condition until tomorrow. Phillip is receiving the best possible medical care. The thoughts of his team-mates and the wider cricket community are with Phillip and his family and friends at this difficult time."

Mr Hughes put a hand on his knee after being struck before falling face first to the ground. He was then given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and oxygen on the boundary line after being carried off the pitch on a stretcher, and was then taken to hospital by ambulance. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent