Phil Hughes punched in a scuffle at a Melbourne hotel

Phil Hughes’ manager James Henderson insisted that the Australian cricketer was not the instigator of the altercation Getty Images

Melbourne: Dec 29, 2011

Axed Australian opener Phillip Hughes was punched by a stranger in a scuffle at a city hotel, media reports said on Thursday.

According to a witness, Hughes, who spent the day at the Bowraville Races before arriving at the hotel, was involved in a dust-up with another patron on Monday night after the two men exchanged some heated words.

“They were then embroiled in a scuffle at about 7pm before the mystery man, who has not been identified, was escorted off the premises by pub security,” a report in Daily Telegraph said.

Hughes’ manager James Henderson insisted that the Australian cricketer was not the instigator of the altercation.

“Phil was with a big group of friends and family and they were approached by another guy who had had a bit to drink and was giving (Hughes) some lip,” Henderson said.

“The man who punched Phil wasn’t with his group at all.

He just came at Phil and hit him for whatever reason and he was later escorted off the premises,” Henderson said.

The report added that Hughes lost his shirt in the melee and went home to change into a replacement before returning to the hotel to continue drinking.

“Phil was not escorted off the hotel. He came back after changing his shirt and stayed on until it closed just after 9pm,” Henderson said.

The incident was not reported to police. (PTI)