Cook: England players in shock over Hughes

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England captain Alastair Cook said his players were in a state of shock after hearing about Australia batsman Phil Hughes' plight, as many of the England players had competed in county cricket with and against the batsman.

Hughes was in critical condition in a Sydney hospital after being struck on the head, behind his ear and off his helmet, by a bouncer on Tuesday. Cook was speaking ahead of his side's ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Cook said: "Since we woke up this morning, the whole team have been in a bit of shock all day. All our thoughts and prayers are with Phillip.

"It's a really saddening incident. Fingers crossed, he can show the same fight he's shown throughout his whole career and he can pull through."

Cook didn't want to be drawn into a discussion on helmet safety though, adding: "It's probably not the time and place to be talking about that in this moment in time.

"The whole dressing room is just massively concerned for Phillip.

"As for player safety (and equipment), at the moment it's kind of irrelevant. It's all about him, and his family and friends. We send him our best from here.

"This is just something very unexpected. For that tragedy to happen on a cricket field, I'd never heard of anything (like it)."

The skipper then added that serious injuries were not common because of helmets, and that Pakistan batsman Ahmed Shehzad's recent injury could have been a lot worse. He added that batsmen assumed the risk when playing.

He said: "Thankfully, they are rare. It does make you aware that when a guy is bowling 90mph it is a dangerous game. But we hope it is an isolated incident."

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