Sydney: Support has been pouring in from all quarters for young fast bowler Sean Abbott, whose unfortunate bouncer resulted in Phillip Hughes sustaining a fatal injury that eventually led to his tragic death.
Hughes' sister, Megan has joined the Australian cricketers and counsellors in giving solace to Abbott, who is reportedly "shaken and broken" at the moment.
Sean Abbott. Pic/ PTI
Megan had sat with the devastated 22-year-old Abbott, who made his one-day and Twenty20 debut for Australia in October, to offer him support as family, friends and cricketers gathered at St. Vincent's Hospital, where Hughes died yesterday.
"Phillip's sister, Megan, came and spent significant time with Sean. Obviously what Sean has gone through is an incredibly traumatic experience, as it has been for everyone present on the field that day," said Australia team doctor Peter Brukner, adding that national cricket team captain Michael Clarke also spent a lot of time with Abbott.
View Photos: Aus cricketers mourn Philip Hughes' death
During a Sheffield Shield match on Tuesday, Abbott had bowled that bouncer to Hughes, who misjudged a pull shot and collapsed to the ground unconscious after being hit in the neck region. He never recovered and eventually died after massive bleeding to the brain.
Test veteran Jason Gillespie said Abbott has been greatly affected by the tragedy. "That lad is absolutely shaken and broken at the moment," Gillespie told Fox Sports. Cricket Australia pledged to support Abbott.
CA chief executive James Sutherland said: "I had a chat to him last night and I was incredibly impressed by the way he was holding himself and his maturity. "But the point is this not a moment-in-time thing. This is a grieving process that will affect people in different ways. What we will do and the relevant experts will do is provide Sean with the support he needs."
The Australian Cricket Players' Association said Abbott was being closely monitored. "He has got a lot of support around him from his teammates and also the counselling services," ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson said. "He's someone who we're monitoring closely and we know he's got a lot of support around him."
Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee told the Nine Network that Abbott would be "going through a really tough time right now". "I know first-hand that no one goes out there to try and maim a batsman, no one tries to hurt a batsman," Lee said.
Former Australia captain Mark Taylor said Abbott must not bear any responsibility for Hughes' death. "He's got no questions to answer but I'm sure he'll be feeling some guilt and probably will be for a long time. "I really hope Sean can get over it and we one day see Sean back playing for New South Wales and may be Australia," said Taylor.
Former Test bowler Bryce McGain said Hughes and Abbott have a long history together. "They've been close mates all the way through. Phil Hughes started his cricket with New South Wales and all these boys grew up together, they played under-age cricket for New South Wales and it's quite a shock for them all. "You could see he was the first player there and he was holding him in his hands, there was a lot of care shown," said McGain.
View Photos: Gone too soon: Cricketers who died at a young age
Meanwhile, West Indies legend Viv Richards and England great Ian Botham took to twitter to share some encouraging words for Abbott. "Spare a thought for Sean Abbott," tweeted England great Ian Botham.
While Richards wrote: "Deepest sympathy for Phillip's family, friends & associates. Sean Abbott in our thoughts & prayers also." Former Australian Test fast bowler player Stuart Clark said he seemed okay with some well-wishers around him. "I think it will be the hardest for him when it's quiet and there's nothing happening," Clark told Sky Sports radio.
"When he's sitting at home at night before he goes to bed -- that's, I think, when the thoughts will start recurring in his mind."
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