Sean Abbott is carrying himself remarkably well in the wake of Phillip Hughes’s death, according to Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland.
The 22-year-old bowled the last delivery Hughes would face and was clearly distraught as he cared for his former team-mate before paramedics arrived.
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How he deals with this tragic accident remains to be seen, but Sutherland said the young all-rounder is “holding up really well”.
“I had a chat to him last night and I was incredibly impressed by the way he was holding himself and his maturity,” Sutherland said.
“But the point is that this is not a ‘moment in time’ thing, this is a grieving process that will affect people in different ways.
“What we will do and the relevant experts will do, will be to provide Sean with all of the support he needs to work through this, but right now I can say that he’s holding up very well and I’m incredibly impressed with him.”
As the world mourned the loss of Hughes on Thursday, the thoughts of many were also with Abbott, and Sutherland said he was thrilled by the support for the young all-rounder.
“I think it’s been fantastic the way in which people have shown concern for Sean,” Sutherland told reporters on Friday.
I had a chat to him last night and I was incredibly impressed by the way he was holding himself and his maturity.James Sutherland
“Sean’s holding up really well.”
Abbott visited Hughes in hospital and, according to Australian team doctor Peter Brukner, had a long talk with Michael Clarke and Hughes’s sister, Megan.
“Obviously, what Sean has gone through has been an incredibly traumatic experience, as it has been for everyone who was present on the field that day,” Brukner said on Thursday.
“Sean is receiving all the possible support from Cricket New South Wales and Australia.”
Abbott and Hughes were closely linked, having been team-mates together at first-class level with NSW.
They also made their Twenty20 International debuts together and shared in an ODI series sweep over Pakistan in October.
Abbott and a number of Hughes’s other friends gathered at the SCG on Thursday night to remember the 25-year-old batsman.
The 12-man Australian Test squad flew in from all around the country to be at the function to grieve their fallen mate with Hughes’s parents, Greg and Virginia, and siblings, sister Megan and brother Jason.
“It was a sad and quiet occasion, but it was a memorable one,” Sutherland said.