Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died on Thursday from a head injury after a sickening on-field blow in one of the highest-profile sporting fatalities since the death of Formula One great Ayrton Senna.
Hughes, who was due to celebrate his 26th birthday this weekend, never regained consciousness after being hit on the base of his skull by a rising ball as he batted for South Australia against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
"It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away," Australian team doctor Peter Brukner said in a statement.
"He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday. He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends."
An inconsolable Australia captain Michael Clarke was an almost constant presence at his close friend's side at St Vincent's Hospital.
News of his death broke just before long-time teammate Warner and his wife left the hospital in tears. Dozens more players were hugging and crying into each other's shoulders as they walked out minutes later.
Thousands expressed sadness over the tragic news. Many took to Twitter as well to convey condolences and others to show their support for Sean Abbott. Primer Minister Tony Abbott led the tributes.
"Phillip Hughes was a young man living out his dreams. His death is a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family," he said.
"What happened has touched millions of Australians. For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration."
RIP you little champ, we are all going to miss you ! Love, prayers to all the Hughes family xxxx— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) November 27, 2014
No no no no no. RIP Phillip Hughes— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) November 27, 2014
For eternity the spirit of Cap No. 408 #RIPPhilHughes— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) November 27, 2014
May those footprints in the sand now support another young man in need. #SeanAbbott— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) November 27, 2014
Such terrible news with the passing of Phil Hughes. Our deepest sympathies to his family.— Glenn McGrath (@glennmcgrath11) November 27, 2014
Shocked to hear about Phil. Sad day for cricket. Deepest condolences to family, friends and well wishers. RIP #PhilipHughes— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) November 27, 2014
Shocked and saddened by the news of Phil Hughes. Horrible day for cricket. RIP Phil and may your family gain the strength to cope.— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) November 27, 2014
Shocking!!! What a tragedy. Untimely death of phil Hughes. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. May his soul RIP #Devastated— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) November 27, 2014
Heard about the news of the sad demise of Phil Hughes. Heart felt condolences to his family and friends. RIP my friend.— Rudra Pratap Singh (@RpSingh99) November 27, 2014
Dark day for cricket can't believe Phil hughes has gone! Rip my friend ! My heart goes out to his family !shocking pic.twitter.com/PEPDREs1Wh— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) November 27, 2014
Just heard the worst news possible..our thoughts & prayers are with Phil, his family & friends. RIP Phil Hughes!!— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) November 27, 2014
Cricket NSW chairman John Warn and chief executive Andrew Jones said they were stunned, saying the grief would be felt around the world.
"Phillip touched so many people playing for NSW, Australia, South Australia, county cricket in England and the IPL in India," they said.
West End Redbacks, the South Australia team Hughes was playing for when he was hit on the head, too expressed sadness over Hughes' tragic death.
Today we have lost our mate Hughesy. Our deepest condolences to all his family and friends. He will be with us always.— West End Redbacks (@WestEndRedbacks) November 27, 2014
Woken to the horrific news about Hughesy ! I cannot describe the sadness I feel for the Hughes family & fellow cricket players, so so sad— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) November 27, 2014
Just an absolute tragedy that Hughesy is no longer with us. He was such an awesome young man, RIP buddy, shattered... http://t.co/avDtc8deoR— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) November 27, 2014
Heart broken! A very dark day. You will be missed, Phil Hughes. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family & friends.— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) November 27, 2014
Lost for words! Holding onto the fact that he is in a better world right now! RIP buddy! Thinking of Sean and the family! God do your work!— mark boucher (@markb46) November 27, 2014
Totally , totally sick inside and have no words.thinking and praying for friends and family. #RIPPhilHughes— Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49) November 27, 2014
Absolutely shocked to hear the news of Phil Hughes passing away! Thoughts and prays are with his family as well as Sean Abbott!— Shaun Pollock (@7polly7) November 27, 2014
So sad to hear of Phil Hughes passing. A sad day for the whole cricket family. Rest in peace mate.— Martin Guptill (@Martyguptill) November 27, 2014
A very sad day for the world of cricket. So sorry for Phillip Hughes and his family . Spare a thought for Sean Abbott.— Ian Botham (@BeefyBotham) November 27, 2014
I guess the scorecard of that game will always say : Phillip Hughes 63no— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 27, 2014
No words can describe the loss ?? Rip pic.twitter.com/3kOm5MkVsc— Brett Lee (@BrettLee_58) November 27, 2014
NO NO NO NO NO! RIP, Hughsey #63notout ??— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) November 27, 2014
Sean Abbott - thinking about you too, mate!— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) November 27, 2014
Just can't believe it, heartbreaking stuff. RIP Phil Hughes. pic.twitter.com/7L7XnsEUnL— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) November 27, 2014
(With AFP and Reuters inputs)