Former New Zealand coach and captain John Wright has paid tribute to the late Phillip Hughes, a player he helped coach briefly eight years ago, and who again came under his watch in the Indian Premier League in 2013.
It follows the death of the Australian international cricketer after he was struck on the head by a bouncer playing for South Australia against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
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The 25-year-old underwent emergency surgery to reduce pressure on his brain and remained in an induced coma in intensive care. Cricket Australia confirmed the former test batsman died in St Vincent's Hospital yesterday afternoon.
"I met him when I was doing some coaching at the Australian academy when he was 17, he was the youngest in the group," Wright said.
"I've followed his career since. He joined me at Mumbai and was a pleasure to work with. He was a great young man. It is very, very sad."
"As a coach you meet some wonderful young cricketers and he was one one of the best. That goes for beyond cricket.
"It was just such a freaky shot. No one expects that to happen."
Hughes' death saw the second day's play suspended in the third test between Pakistan and New Zealand.
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Hughes' photo adorned the scoreboard, the ground mood was sombre and there was a sense of disbelief that a test cricketer could lose his life in such a fashion.
Neither side emerged from their dressing rooms during the initial delay of an hour while officials discussed their response.
New Zealand are expected to wear black armbands and participate in a minute's silence in tribute when the match resumes tonight.
The Herald understands discussions ensued overnight between New Zealand Cricket and the Pakistan Cricket Board about calling the game off, but that strategy has since been replaced in favour of resuming the match as planned.
No current New Zealand players have been available for comment but Ross Taylor and Jimmy Neesham tweeted their condolences.
"RIP Phil Hughes. Gone too soon. Thoughts and Prayers are with you and the family. Shocked," wrote Taylor, while Neesham said: "I've never before felt so keenly the loss of someone I'd never met. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. RIP Phil Hughes."
Andrew Alderson travelled to the UAE courtesy of Emirates