November 28, 2014 – 4:17PM
The thoughts of Phillip Hughes’ extended family are with Sean Abbott, the bowler who delivered the ball that struck the former Australian Test opener on Tuesday.
As Hughes’ family and the cricket world mourned the death of one of Australia’s finest young players, there was also considerable support for Abbott.
Grief: Sean Abbott, right, leaves St Vincent’s Hospital on Thursday. Photo: AFP
Friends and teammates of the NSW all-rounder, who made his international debut last month, are doing their best to make sure he is not left alone.
Abbott has been consoled by Hughes’ sister Megan, while Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland and former Test and NSW paceman Stuart Clark were among those to offer support to him after Hughes’ death.
A close family friend of the Hugheses said the family wanted Abbott to know he had done nothing wrong.
Tributes: Phillip Hughes dead at 25. Photo: Getty Images
“We really want to support the bowler, Sean. He’s someone who we’re also considering at this time,” said Anthony Miles, who describes himself as Hughes’ “adopted older cousin”.
“Phillip would have said ‘good nut, bowl the next one’.”
While much of the public attention has focused on Abbott’s situation, it has been pointed out the bowler was one of 12 players on the field at the time Hughes suffered his fatal injuries.
His South Australian teammate Tom Cooper was at the non-striker’s end while former teammates Brad Haddin, David Warner, Peter Nevill and Nic Maddinson were only metres away when Hughes collapsed on the pitch.
Sutherland commended those involved in Australian cricket and the wider community for the concerns they had shown Abbott.
The boss of Australian cricket spoke to Abbott at a gathering attended by the Hughes family, current and former Australian and first-class players and cricket officials, held at the SCG members’ bar on Thursday night.
“Sean’s holding up really well. I had a chat to him last night and I was incredibly impressed by the way he was holding himself and his maturity,” Sutherland said.
“The point is this is not a moment in time thing. This is a grieving process and it’ll affect people in different ways.
“What we will do and the relevant experts will [do is] provide Sean with all the support he needs to work through this. Right now, I can say he’s holding up very well and I’m incredibly impressed with him.”
Clark said while Abbott was handling the situation now, he was worried how the player would react when left alone.
“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 when the thoughts will start recurring in his mind.”
Former Test captain Mark Taylor said he hoped Abbott would be able to recover and continue his career.
“I hope he can forgive himself because the cricket community don’t feel that he needs forgiving,” Taylor said on the Nine Network’s Today show.
Source : The Canberra Times