Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes in critical condition

Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes is in a critical condition after being struck by a bouncer while batting.

The cricketer was hit by a Sean Abbott delivery while batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Hughes needed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the boundary and was then taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where he had surgery and remains in an intensive-care unit.

David Faktor, a spokesman at St Vincent’s Hospital, said: “He arrived in a critical condition and remains in a critical condition.

“When he arrived he underwent a set of scans to establish the extent of his injuries and then a decision was made to perform surgery. All I could confirm is that he did sustain a head injury and that he is in a critical condition at the moment.”

South Australia’s performance manager Tim Nielsen said: “As you’re aware Phil Hughes was injured today and he’s undergoing surgery.

“The outcome of that surgery is unlikely to be known for 24-48 hours, we ask you to respect the privacy of his family and friends.”

Hughes was 63 not out and wearing a helmet when he tried to hook an Abbott bouncer and missed. He was attempting to play his way into the Australia side for next week’s first Test against India.

The left-hander has 26 Test caps, and his team-mates and opponents immediately offered their support in person and on social media.

Michael Clarke visited the hospital, while Mitchell Johnson and several England players wer among those to post messages on twitter.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Phil and his family! He is a great fighter and a great young man!”

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Phil Hughes right now. We are also thinking of his family, team mates and friends in the Australian cricket family.

“His welfare is our highest priority. We’re also naturally concerned about all of those involved in today’s game and will be giving them our utmost support.”

Australian Cricketers’ Association chief Alastair Nicholson released a statement, saying:

“We were obviously shocked to learn of the seriousness of the incident involving Phil. While we have faith that he’s receiving the best available treatment, the situation will impact his family, friends, and those directly involved on the field.

“The ACA is therefore working closely with CA to arrange the appropriate counselling for those affected. Naturally our thoughts are with him and we wish him well from all the ACA members.”