Australia batsman Phil Hughes passed away on Thursday (November 27) after being struck in the head by a bouncer during a match on Tuesday. This tragic loss of a cricketer, due to an injury on the field was the not first.
There have been few on-field injuries that have ended cricketers' lives. For Indians, Raman Lamba's unfortunate death, the same way, comes to mind.
Both Hughes and Raman succumbed to head injuries. While one was struck on the head during batting, the other was a fielder. (Doctors explain Hughes' 'rare' injury)
Raman died of an on-field injury in 1998 while playing a league match in Bangladesh. The 38-year-old was hit on the head while fielding and passed away three days later. He represented India in 4 Tests, 32 ODIs and had also played unofficial one-dayers for Ireland.
On February 20, 1998, Raman, playing for Abahani Krira Chakra against Mohammedan Sporting, was fielding at forward short-leg when tragedy struck.
With three balls of the over left, Raman, moved to the close-in fielding position from the outfield, preferred not to wear a helmet and was hit by the ball (pull shot by the batsman), which proved fatal.
The hit from the batsman was so hard that the ball rebounded off his forehead and the wicketkeeper had to go back few steps to take the catch. At first, Raman said he was fine but soon headed back to the pavilion. He was soon hospitalised and died three days later (February 23, 1998) due to brain injuries.
While Raman risked his life by not wearing a helmet, Hughes could not be saved in spite of wearing protective gear. Masuri, the helmet company, said Hughes was wearing a older model.
Hughes, trying to hook a bouncer from Sean Abbott, missed and the ball hit him at the side of the neck. The left-hander, a few minutes after the incident, had collapsed on the pitch. He was taken to hospital by air ambulance but lost his battle with life two days later.
'Very rare, very freakish'
"Phillip took the blow at the side of the neck and as a result of that blow, his vertebral artery - one of the main arteries to the brain - was compressed by the ball," Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said.
"That caused the artery to split and for bleeding to go up into the brain. This is frequently fatal at the time. However, Phillip was resuscitated by Dr John Orchard, the Cricket NSW (New South Wales) doctor, and paramedical staff," he added.
The doctors, who treated Hughes, said there had only been 100 cases of vertebral artery dissection.
"We haven't seen this type of injury at this hospital, it's very rare, very freakish," Dr Tony Grabs, Head of Trauma at St Vincent Hospital, said.
The Raman and Hughes incidents have left cricket fans in shock. However, both are entirely different with one not having any protective headgear and the other not saved with one.
These deaths have reminded players, administrators and fans how dangerous the game of cricket can be.