Phil Hughes Australia
Phil Hughes died at the age of just 25Reuters

When you are facing up as a batsman, even with all the protective gear locked and loaded, there is that fear, the fear that that red cherry will strike you.

Everyone who has played cricket on a decent level knows that fear and has gone through and tried to push through that fear, especially when the bowler you are facing is capable of getting through your defences with his pace.

However, the one thing you do not expect (or maybe hope) in modern-day cricket is serious injury, an injury which can lead to your death.

Phil Hughes was in the prime of his life, tipped to play for Australia with regularity, with the left-hander most likely even taking guard against the India bowlers in the first Test in Brisbane.

However, that cruel adversary called fate had other plans and a tragedy of the worst possible scenario ensued.

The cricketing family mourns and will continue to mourn the death of a seriously talented cricketer and well-liked human being. You only had to see the procession of cricketers who made a beeline for the St Vincent's hospital to see how Hughes was doing to make a conclusion on that front.

However, while all thoughts will be with Hughes and his family and friends, plenty should also be spared for the man whose unfortunate bouncer led to the catastrophic injury.

Sean Abbott would have played that ball in his mind a million times now, and every single time he would have though "why did I have to bowl that, why!"

The greatest tragedy of this indescribable of all tragedies is that Abbott will now have to live with this for the rest of his life.

The fast bowler's inner strength will be put to the ultimate test, and much will depend on what support he has around him and from his teammates.

"Sean will have all the support he needs around him," Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland told Austerio Radio on Wednesday. "I'm sure his teammates and everyone don't feel in any way ill of him for what happened. It's a freak, freak incident that's happened."

Tipped for great things as well, Abbott will now have to carry this burden, flung like an albatross across his neck. And is there any greater tragedy in sport than that?

If only the spirit world were real and Hughes could somehow communicate to Abbott and tell him that it was not his fault and he has in fact gone to a better place, where cricket is also played and the sun shines brighter.

If only that bouncer had whistled past Hughes instead of striking him on his head.

If only.

And meanwhile, spare a though for Abbott as well, because no cricketer should have to go through what he is going through at the moment, and live through what he will have to live through.

Hopefully he will come out a stronger man and continue his upward trajectory as a cricketer. But for now, though, cricket takes a backseat as the world wonders "Why. Why did it have to happen in the first place."

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