Indian-origin umpire dies after being hit by cricket ball

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Dubai, Dec 1: As the cricket world remains still in shock over the tragic death of Australia Test batsman Phil Hughes due to on-field injury, here comes another unfortunate news of an Indian-origin umpire passing away after being hit by a cricket ball during a match.

Israel's former captain and umpire Hillel Awasker died after being hit in the neck by a ball while officiating at the bowler's end in a domestic match in Ashod, a city south of Tel Aviv.

Hillel Awasker

The incident happened on Saturday (November 29). He was struck by the ball, after it rebounded off the stumps following a shot by a batsman.

Awasker, 58, died of a catastrophic head wound, said Ayelet Keidar, a spokeswoman for Barzilai Hospital in the Mediterranean coastal town of Ashkelon near Ashdod where he was rushed by ambulance, "Reuters" news agency reported. (Cricketers who died due to on-field injuries)

"The International Cricket Council (ICC) has offered its condolences to the family and friends of Israel umpire and former captain Hillel Awasker, who passed away on Saturday following an injury he suffered while officiating in a domestic match in Ashod, a city south of Tel Aviv," ICC said in a statement.

Born in India, Hillel represented Israel in six editions of the ICC Trophy (the precursor to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier) - in 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1997 and 2001 - and captained his side during the 1982 and 1997 tournaments.

He played 39 ICC Trophy matches, the third-highest amount in ICC Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament history, and scored 355 runs, claimed 21 wickets and took 10 catches.

Hillel most recently represented Israel in European Championship Division 2 in 2006, and was still playing domestic cricket when he qualified to become an umpire.

Hillel was a central figure in Israel cricket for many years, and was well-liked and well-respected throughout the local cricket community, ICC said.

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