SYDNEY (AP) – Phillip Hughes, the Australian batsman who needed emergency surgery after being knocked out by a cricket ball, remained in a critical condition on Wednesday.
Australian team doctor Peter Brukner issued a statement saying Hughes had further scans at St Vincent’s Hospital during the morning and that his condition was unchanged from overnight.
The 25-year-old Hughes was batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday when he was felled by a sharply rising delivery that struck him behind the left ear.
He was treated on the field by medical experts, including doctors who were flown by helicopter onto the ground, before being taken to St Vincent’s by ambulance.
“Phillip is receiving the best possible medical care,” Brukner said. Results of the operation are unlikely to be known for a day or two.
The SCG match was cancelled almost immediately and other Shield matches in Brisbane and Melbourne were called off on Wednesday after consultation between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association.
Hughes was considered a strong contender to force his way back into Australia’s test team next week if injured skipper Michael Clarke was forced out of the series-opening match against India.
Hughes was batting confidently on 63 when he mistimed an attempted pull shot and was hit in the head by a regulation bouncer from fast bowler Sean Abbott.
Hughes was wearing a batting helmet, but the area behind his ear was unprotected.
Images of the sickening blow were broadcast almost instantly across Australia, and messages of support flowed in from around the world all night and into the morning on Wednesday.
News channels crossed lived to the hospital in downtown Sydney, where satellite TV trucks and dozens of news crews reported regular updates on Hughes’ condition.
Hughes has played 26 test matches for Australia since his debut in 2009 but hasn’t been able to cement a regular spot in the starting lineup. He was highly regarded by teammates and rivals, and regular fans who appreciated his no-fuss approach to the game.