World media pay tributes to 'country boy' cricketer Hughes
Newspapers, cricket writers and players have paid tributes to Australian Test player Phillip Hughes, who died on Thursday.
The 25-year-old New South Wales left-hander was hit on the top of the neck by a short delivery from Sean Abbott on Monday while batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match.
In Australia, cricket writers are shocked at the young talent's sudden death.
Most feel Australia has lost a "true gentleman" and a promising player.
"Hughes was one of the most exciting prospects Australian cricket had seen for years," writes Jonathan Healy on ABC website.
"After a number of high-profile retirements, Australia had not quite come to grips with the fact that the golden age was over and Hughes was earmarked to lead the next generation of stars."
The Courier Mail says no other tragic incident in Australian sports has caused "more widespread grief than this heartbreaking tale of a strong-willed young cricketer".
"An impish cricketer with a warm, cheeky grin who had no enemies in the game, Hughes will forever be remembered as one of the game's most likeable characters," the paper says.
"His quirky home-made technique fashioned on the family banana farm in Macksville made him a captivating study of originality and hand-eye co-ordination."
Beyond his amazing "hand-eye co-ordination" and "subtle footwork", most writers are unanimous in their praise for Hughes' character.
"Loved by everybody in the cricket community and a close friend of captain Michael Clarke, the batsman's fate has stunned the game," sports pundit Peter Lalor writes in The Australian.
Sports expert Malcolm Knox writes in The Age that Hughes will be best remembered for his unique style and his demeanour as "a low-key country boy".
"Phillip Hughes was an unforgettable cricketer, a personality cricketer: a little battler who was also thrilling to watch, a low-key country boy who expressed himself on the field with a uniquely flamboyant style," he writes.
English papers too are shocked by the elegant left-hander's tragic death.
Russell Jackson of The Guardian says Hughes seemed "destined for greatness at a young age". "It was a level of expectation and pressure that Hughes wore with humility and a path for which he prepared himself diligently," he adds.
|Phillip Hughes's career|
'Sad day for cricket'
In South Asia, Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar has led tributes for Hughes.
"Shocked to hear about Phil. Sad day for cricket," Tendulkar tweeted.
Sandipan Sharma writes in the Firstpost website that Hughes' "unfortunate death... once again reminds us of the dangers of playing any game, even cricket, where the batsmen often walk out protected from head to toe like warriors".
In Pakistan, batsman Shahid Afridi has paid his "heartfelt condolences to the family of Australian cricketer Phil Hughes on the sad demise".