James SutherlandSydney, Nov 27 (PTI) Devastated at the sad demise of young Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland today described the incident as a “real-life tragedy” and offered his deepest condolences to the left-handed batsman’s family.

“The word tragedy gets used far too often in sport but this freak accident is now a real-life tragedy. Just shy of his 26th birthday, Phillip has been taken from us far too young,” Sutherland said.

“It’s an understatement to say that we are completely devastated. Our grief runs deep and the impact of Phillip’s loss is enormous but nothing compares to the loss felt by those closest to him.

“Phillip was a cherished son, brother, friend and team mate.

“In these darkest of hours cricket puts its collective arms around the Hughes family. To his parents Virginia and Greg and siblings Megan and Jason we offer our love and endless support,” he said.

Hughes, 25, died at the St Vincent’s Hospital here, where he was battling for life after being hit on the head by a bouncer from Sean Abbot during a domestic match between New South Wales and South Australia on Tuesday.

Hughes played 26 Tests in his short-career, scoring 1,535 runs at 32.65 with three hundreds and seven half centuries.

His final Test was at Lord’s in July 2013.

He also featured in 25 ODIs. His last ODI was against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last month. A week ago he had played his only T20 international against the same opposition at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. He is also the only Australian to score a century on ODI debut.

“As a cricketer, Phillip was an incredibly talented and dearly loved member of the Australian, South Australian and Adelaide Strikers squads and a former NSW representative. He also played county cricket in England and IPL in India.

Without doubt he was a rising star whose best cricket was still ahead of him,” Sutherland said.