Sean Abbott in action during the Sheffield Shield match against Queensland © Getty Images
Sean Abbott in action during the Sheffield Shield match for New South Wales (NSW) against Queensland © Getty Images

Sydney: Dec 9, 2014

Sean Abbott, who delivered the ball that killed Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, bowled a bouncer in his opening over Tuesday on his return to the ground where the freak accident happened. There had been fears that the 22-year-old fast bowler may have been too traumatised to play again after Hughes died from being hit by one of his rising balls at the Sydney Cricket Ground last month.

But Abbott has received widespread encouragement and held his nerve in his first game back when he was introduced into the New South Wales attack in the 13th over against Queensland in a domestic Sheffield Shield encounter.

Showing little emotion, he sent down four dot balls before a short-pitched delivery that sailed well over ducking Queensland batsman Joe Burns.

NSW paid tribute to Hughes, who once played for that state, by wearing black armbands and “PJH 707” on their shirts, a reference to the well-liked batsman being their 707th representative.

Abbott’s return coincided with Australia facing India in the delayed first Test at Adelaide, where a number of tributes for Hughes were held before play got under way.

Hughes, 25, died on November 27 from bleeding on the brain, two days after being knocked unconscious by the Abbott bouncer, plunging the cricket world into mourning.