Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital on Thursday, two days after the international batsman was struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match.
Governing body Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed the 25-year-old had lost his fight for life, casting a pall over the cricket-mad nation who are co-hosting the World Cup early next year.
"We are extremely sad to announce that Phillip Hughes has passed away at the age of 25," CA said on its Twitter feed.
"Our thoughts go out to Phillip's family, friends, and the entire cricket community on this incredibly sad day.
"He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family...