Jewish umpire paid his tribute to Phil Hughes before being hit by a ball

Minutes before his death on Saturday, Israeli umpire Hillel Awasker (55) paid a tribute to departed Australian left-handed batsman Phillip Hughes. This was revealed by Awasker’s Jewish wife, Jenny yesterday. 

Late Hillel Awasker and Jenny

Speaking from Ashdod, near Tel Aviv yesterday, she said, “My husband took his own photo while paying tribute to the Australian player who had died two days ago. He promised me that he would send me the picture during the break or after the match. Alas, that moment never came. Indeed, it’s sad to lose two cricket-related men in one week.”

The Israeli umpire was struck by a ball hit by a batsman during a league game in Ashdod. The ball ricocheted off the stumps and struck Awasker. He was rushed to hospital but doctors could not revive him.

Jenny added: “He loved the game so much as a player, umpire and coach. He was involved in coaching children too. He went to England and learnt coaching skills there. The children here loved him so much as their coach.”

Interestingly, Awasker was born in Mumbai. “He came to Israel in 1977 and we fell in love in the 1980s. We married in 1983 and have two daughters,” said Jenny.

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