FIGURES from Irish cricket have joined worldwide tributes to Australian Test cricketer Phil Hughes following his death at the age of 25.
Hughes died on Thursday, two days after being hit on the head by a delivery at the Sydney Cricket Ground while batting for South Australia in a domestic game against New South Wales.
Ireland cricket captain William Porterfield wrote on Twitter: "No way! Can't believe what's just happened. Thoughts and prayers go out to family, friends and team mates of Phil Hughes."
No way! Can't believe what's just happened. Thoughts and prayers go out to family, friends and team mates of Phil Hughes
— William Porterfield (@purdy34) November 27, 2014
Very sad news from Australia this morning. Thoughts of the entire Irish cricket community are with Phil Hughes' family, friends & teammates. — Cricket Ireland (@Irelandcricket) November 27, 2014
Sickening news everyone was hoping wouldn't come. Devastating. Thoughts are with all family and friends RIP Phil Hughes
— Paul Stirling (@stirlo90) November 27, 2014
Derry cricketer Boyd Rankin tweeted: "Shocked and saddened by the news about Phil Hughes this morning. Condolences to his family and close friends. #ripphilhughes."
Cricket Ireland also paid tribute to the Australian, who previously played for Middlesex, Hampshire and Worcestershire. "Very sad news from Australia this morning. Thoughts of the entire Irish cricket community are with Phil Hughes' family, friends & teammates," they said.
— Phil Simmons (@Coachsim13) November 27, 2014
Women's international Clare Shillington wrote: "Unbelievably saddened to hear that Phil Hughes hasn't made it. For such an amazing sport to take someone is unthinkable. #RIPPhilHughes."
Earlier this morning, Australia team doctor Peter Brukner said Hughes had passed away in hospital, never regaining consciousness.
Distraught Australia captain Michael Clarke read a statement on behalf of Hughes' family, saying: “We’re devastated by the loss of our much-loved son and brother Phillip. Cricket was Phillip’s life, and we as a family shared that love of the game with him. We love you.”
— Malahide Cricket (@MalahideCC) November 27, 2014
Very sad news this morning to hear of the passing of Phil Hughes. Thoughts are with his family and friends. #RIPPhilHughes
— George Dockrell (@georgedockrell) November 27, 2014
Joe Doherty, Cricket Ireland President, said: “The entire cricket community in Ireland is stunned and saddened by the news of the tragic death of Phil Hughes at just 25 years of age.
“The heartfelt condolences of all connected with Cricket Ireland go out today to Phil’s family, his wide circle of friends, and the entire Australian cricket family.
“May his gentle soul rest in peace.”