Both Ahmed Shehzad and Philip Hughes were hit on their head by bouncers © Getty Images
Both Ahmed Shehzad and Philip Hughes were hit on their head by bouncers © Getty Images

The sporting world is mourning about the unfortunate demise of Phillip Hughes, who suffered from a skull fracture after being hit on the back of his head by a bouncer. Ahmed Shehzad, the Pakistani opener also suffered similar kind of injury recently, but he was lucky enough to survive. Sandipan Banerjee writes more about both the unfortunate incidents.    

November 27 has now become the saddest day the cricketing world has ever experienced in recent times. The ever-smiling, talented Phillip Hughes, all set to celebrate his 26th birthday next week with a Test return, succumbed to his injuries and passed on to the world of eternity forever. Hughes suffered from a skull fracture after being hit on the back of his head by a bouncer on November 25 while batting in a First-Class match.

The whole occurrence is a tough pill to swallow for the cricketing fraternity but for Pakistani opener Ahmed Shehzad it would have been tougher as he himself has to go through similar kind of incident recently. Luckily Shehzad survived.

Earlier this month (November 10) during Pakistan’s first Test against New Zealand at Abu Dhabi, Shehzad was batting fluently. He scored his third Test century and was looking all set reach his first double-ton. Unfortunately, just before lunch of second day, Shehzad attempted a hook off a Corey Anderson bouncer. He missed the ball and was hit on the side of the temple. He crumpled on the pitch and looked in utter discomfort. He even felt dizzy and had to be helped off the field by team physiotherapist Brad Robinson.

Shehzad was immediately rushed to a hospital where a scan revealed a fracture at the zygomatic arch of skull, but fortunately it turned out to be a minor fracture. After the Pakistani opener recovered from the trauma of the incident, doctors advised him to avoid contact sports for a period of six weeks. He was fortunate that the ball did not hit the delicate portion of his head.

Hughes was not as fortunate. He tried to play a hook off the Sean Abbott bouncer but failed to make contact with; the ball hit the unprotected back of his head. Hughes lost consciousness and was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, where he was kept in intensive care. He was kept in an induced coma for more than days and did not recover. The scans revealed a fractured skull; he suffered from catastrophic bleeding in his brain, which caused his unfortunate demise.

The ball had hit Shehzad a few inches higher on the head than it had hit Hughes, which was why his skull fracture was minor and there was no internal bleeding. In other words, he was saved because of those few inches. At this moment Shehzad will be the closest person who can understand the pain, the discomfort, which Hughes had to go through when the bouncer hit his head.

But one thing is evident in both the incidents. Despite wearing a helmet both Shehzad and Hughes were hit on the head. This will raise question about the reliability of cricketing gears. The confidence level of the cricketers towards their protective equipments will be much lower after all these. Now it’s the responsibility of International Cricket Council to address this major issue.

Complete coverage of Phillip Hughes’ tragic demise

Complete coverage of Phillip Hughes’s Funeral

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at Cricket Country. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)