On this day: Australia batter Phillip Hughes dies at age of 25 after being struck by ball

The cricket world was left in shock on this day in 2014 following the death of Australia batter Phillip Hughes, aged 25.

Hughes died from a brain haemorrhage, two days after being struck on the top of his neck by a ball while batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales in Sydney.

The former Hampshire, Middlesex and Worcestershire opener was hit by a delivery from bowler Sean Abbott and never regained consciousness.

Tributes were left outside Sydney Cricket Ground in memory of Phillip Hughes
Tributes were left outside Sydney Cricket Ground in memory of Phillip Hughes (Jennifer Cockerall/PA)

Australia team doctor Peter Brukner later confirmed that Hughes, who had been wearing a helmet, died as a result of “vertebral artery dissection”.

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At the end of a five-day inquest two years later, New South Wales coroner Michael Barnes concluded that nobody was to blame for Hughes’ death.

Mr Barnes said there had been no “malicious intent” from Abbott and “no failure” to enforce the laws of the game in respect to short-pitched deliveries.

Remembering 408

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke paid emotional tribute to his fallen friend and teammate.

“I tell myself all throughout the day to stay nice and positive, and to think of the good things. That’s what is important when anybody passes that is close to you – you have to cherish and hang on to the good times,” he said.

“There were so many (good times) and Hughesy passed away too young, but what a journey he had and what a legacy he left.

“He changed the way protective equipment is now made, and the extra protection around helmets is great for the current players and great for the young boys and girls growing up.

“The way he played the game will always be the front of my mind – his attitude towards cricket, he just loved it – but he loved his cattle just as much.

“Ultimate country boy, loved his mum and dad and brother and sister, and was blessed to be a brilliant cricketer and had the opportunity to play for his state and country.

“He is the 408th Australian player, and that will never be taken away.”