On Tuesday morning, Phil Hughes was fighting for a spot in the Australian Test team.
Just hours later, he was fighting for his life.
Hughes remains in a critical condition at a Sydney hospital following emergency surgery after being hit in the head by a bouncer at the SCG.
Australian team doctor Peter Brukner told the media on Wednesday that the 25-year-old batsman will undergo bran scans to determine the extent of his head injuries.
“He will have further scans later on today and we hope to be able to provide you with some more information following the scans,” Dr Brukner said.
The batsman collapsed face-first to the ground after being struck on the base of his skull by a Sean Abbott bouncer during South Australia’s Sheffield Shield match against NSW.
Paramedics spent about 40 minutes reviving him, before he was transported to the nearby St Vincent’s Hospital.
A medical helicopter landed on the SCG but it was not required.
On Tuesday, Dr Brukner said the Hughes was receiving “the best possible medical care”.
“The thoughts of his teammates and the wider cricket community are with Phil and his family and friends at this difficult time,” he said.
Hughes was 63 not out when the incident occurred, as he looked to press his claims to replace injured captain Michael Clarke in next week’s first Test against India, with the Test skipper struggling to overcome a hamstring problem.
Play was abandoned with the score at 2-136 midway through the second session.
Hughes left the field on a medicab, with close friend David Warner riding alongside him.
A visibly shaken Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said everyone’s thoughts are with the popular left-hander.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Phil Hughes right now. We are also thinking of his family, team mates and friends in the Australian cricket family,” Sutherland said.
“It’s serious and he’s fortunate to be in the best possible place right now.
“He’s a really popular guy, not just in Australia but all around the world.
“All we can do is hope he gets the best possible care and recovers as soon as possible.”
SACA General Manager High Performance Tim Nielsen said the outcome of surgery was unlikely to be known until Wednesday or Thursday, and urged media to respect the family’s privacy.
Hughes’ mother and sister were in the stands at the game.
NSW bowler Trent Copeland, who was at the ground, said it was a frightening moment.
“Immediately you could tell that something was wrong, the players around him were freaking out,” Copeland said.
“From what you could sort of see from the sidelines, (it was) not nice.”
NSW assistant coach Geoff Lawson said the incident was the most confronting thing he has seen on a cricket field.
“I’ve seen players get broken noses and cheekbones and suffered a broken jaw myself and I’ve seen a lot of blood and I’ve seen some people get a concussion,” he said.
“But I’ve never seen in all my days in the game a consequence like this where somebody’s life may be in jeopardy.”
Hughes was one of a number of batsmen in line for a possible Test recall following reports that Clarke had been ruled out of the first Test against India at the Gabba.
Clarke, a close friend of Hughes, arrived at St Vincent’s shortly after the incident. Hughes made his Test debut in 2009 and has played 26 Tests for Australia, compiling 1535 runs at an average of 32.66.
The incident sparked hundreds of well-wishes on social media, with several current and former players expressing their support for the left-hander.
Sad to hear about my little mate Hughsey. Thoughts go out to him and his family. Stay strong brother! X — Peter Siddle (@petersiddle403) November 25, 2014
Feel sick to my stomach for Hughesy. Hope you are okay brus. — Kane Richardson (@KWRichardson23) November 25, 2014
Thoughts and prayers with Phil Hughes and his family tonight, fight hard mate Baggy Green style. — Matthew Hayden AM (@HaydosTweets) November 25, 2014
Have just seen the news about Phil Hughes which deeply saddens me. Something all cricketers fear. Thoughts are with him and his family. — Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) November 25, 2014
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW
– with agencies