Proteas, past and present, mourn Hughes


South Africa and Australia have one of the most enduring rivalries on any sports field, but that took a back seat in the wake of Phil Hughes passing in Thursday, with Proteas past and present expressing grief at the loss.

The Proteas had finished a tour Down Under just days before Hughes was struck on the back of the head by a bouncer, in a freak accident missing his helmet, and the players were quick to express condolences.

Test captain Hashim Amla: "Such sad news to wake up to. My deepest most sincere condolences to Phil Hughes's family and friends."

ODI skipper AB de Villiers: "Heart broken! A very dark day. You will be missed, Phil Hughes. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family & friends."

All-rounder JP Duminy: "May you RIP Hughesey. Words cannot explain one's feelings right now. Prayers are with his family, friends and Teammates.. #RIPPhilHughes"

Batsman Faf du Plessis: "No man. Shocking news that Phil Hughes has passed away.cant believe it.Everyone close to him will be in my prayers.#cricketingfamily"

Vernon Philander: "My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Philip Hughes. May God be with you during this difficult time. RIP"

David Miller: "Very sad news to wake up to. Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Phil Hughes. #RIPHughesy"

Farhaan Behardien: "A sad sad day.Absolutely gutted to hear about the news of phil hughes.Prayers go out to friends & family. #RIPPhilHughes #CricketFamily"

Rilee Rossouw: "Dont want to believe it! Prayers go out to all the family and friends. May you rest in peace Phil…"

Ryan McLaren: "RIP Phillip Hughes.Deepest condolences to his family,friends,teammates and all involved in @CricketAus ."

Beuran Hendricks: "RIP #PhillipHughes condolences to the family. And thoughts with Sean Abbott."

Dean Elgar: "Absolutely shocked about the news of Phil Hughes.The world has lost a seriously talented young player #RIPHughesy.U will be missed"

Former players were also quick to get online, with many of them having played against Hughes, given he made his debut barely out of his teens and enjoyed playing against the Proteas. They also expressed support for bowler Sean Abbott.

Jacques Kallis: "Woke up to the news of Phil Hughes passing away. RIP buddy. Thoughts and prayers to friends and family. What a sad day."

Mark Boucher: "Lost for words! Holding onto the fact that he is in a better world right now! RIP buddy! Thinking of Sean and the family! God do your work!"

Shaun Pollock: "Absolutely shocked to hear the news of Phil Hughes passing away! Thoughts and prays are with his family as well as Sean Abbott!"

Graeme Smith: "Totally, totally sick inside and have no words.thinking and praying for friends and family. #RIPPhilHughes"

Jacques Rudolph: "Sad sad day for cricket…top guy and great cricketer. #PhilHughes"

Alviro Petersen: "Extremely sad news about the passing of Phil Hughes… RIP Hughesy. Condolences to his family & the people of Australia."

He added: "And lets spare a thought for Sean Abbott as well… must be going through a lot… #RIPPhilHughes"

Andre Nel: "Really sad news to hear Phil Hughes has passed away.What a amazing player taken away from us so young. The #cricketingfamily will miss u!"

Paul Adams: "Thoughts go out to Phillip Hughes family and the entire cricket community on this sad day. He was an incredible cricketer #Gonetosoon #RIP"

Herschelle Gibbs: "Deeply sad to hear about the passing of Phil Hughes..very sad indeed! RIP"

Ashwell Prince: "Absolutely devastating news to wake to this morning about the passing of Phil Hughes. May his soul rest in peace."

Mignon du Preez: "A big loss for Australian Cricket!Condolences to the family&friends of Phil Hughes!We'll keep them in our prayers#RIP"

Richard Levi: "Devastating to hear the new about Phil Hughes this morning. Thoughts and condolences to his friends and family. Sad day in cricket"