Phillip Hughes: Statement from Cricket Australia CEO

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James Sutherland, Cricket Australia: 'His best cricket was still ahead of him'

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has paid this tribute to batsman Phillip Hughes, who has died, two days after being hit on the head by a ball:

"The word tragedy gets used too often in sport, but this freak accident is now real life tragedy.

"Just shy of his 26th birthday, Phillip has been taken away from us too soon. It is an understatement to say that we are completely devastated.

"Our grief runs deep and the impact of Phillip's loss is enormous, but nothing compares to the loss of those close to him. Phillip was a cherished son, brother, friend and team-mate.

"In these darkest hours cricket puts its collective arms around the Hughes family. To his parents Virginia and Greg and his siblings Megan and Jason, we offer our love and endless support.

"He was a member of the Australia, South Australia and Adelaide Striker squads. He also played county cricket in England and in the IPL in India.

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Australian captain Michael Clarke reads a statement on behalf of the family of Phillip Hughes

"Without doubt, he was a rising star whose best cricket was still ahead of him.

"Hughesy was much loved, you only have to sift through the thousands of wishes of support from cricketers and supporters all over the world to understand the affection felt towards him.

"He will be remembered as one of the elite few to win a baggy green cap, cap number 408 to be precise.

"He was a hero to kids around the nation, particularly to those in his hometown of Macksville in New South Wales.

"He did them proud in his 26 Test matches, a tally that looked certain to grow, but now sadly never will. The national selectors had identified him as having a long-term future in the game.

"It was only a few days ago when selecting the Test team for the forthcoming series with India, our chief selector Rod Marsh said: 'He's a hell of a good batsman, he's a very good young player who has got 26 first-class 100s'.

"We all vividly remember his explosive entrance to Test cricket. In 2009, in only his second test, aged 20, Phillip blasted back-to-back centuries against South Africa.

"Only last year, he showed his class again when he became the first Australian batsman in the history of one-day cricket to score a century on his debut. [112 v Sri Lanka January 2013]

"But it is Phillip as a person who we will miss most.

"He was a classic example of his country upbringing - humble, understated and hard working.

"When the chips were down or he had a setback, he simply got on with the job and worked harder. He set a wonderful example to any young person seeking to make their way in life.

"I'd like to send our deepest sympathies to Phillip's team-mates at national, state and grade level as well as the wider New South Wales and South Australia cricket communities.

"I'd like to pay tribute to Phillip's team-mates and opponents and the Cricket Australia medical staff for the care they have shown him.

"Our hearts go out to the Hughes family right now.

"Phillip Joel Hughes played 26 Test matches for his country.

"He'll be sadly missed and forever remembered."

James Sutherland: Cricket Australia CEO

Australia Cricket CEO James Sutherland
Australia Cricket CEO James Sutherland
Post from Adelaide Oval on Twitter
Tributes were paid to Phillip Hughes at the Adelaide Oval
Post from Adelaide Oval on Twitter
The Adelaide Oval scoreboard bears the name of Phillip Hughes today

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