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Tributes pour in from colleagues for Hughes

Cricket: Close friend David Warner and Australia captain Michael Clarke led an outpouring of emotional tributes to Phillip Hughes following the batsman's death at the age of 25.

Hughes died yesterday, two days after being struck on the head by a bouncer while batting for South Australia against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Warner, who was playing in the match and raced to help his stricken friend, was one of a number of players who visited Hughes at St Vincent's Hospital and was in tears as he left.

The pair were team-mates for five years at New South Wales and with Australia and Warner posted a picture of them together on Twitter, wearing the Baggy Green with their arms round each other.

He wrote: "Brothers in arms, RIP mate. I will always walk out there forever knowing your by my side. Love you BRAZ!!"

In a second picture message he added: "RIP my little man. You will always be with me when I walk out onto the field. Not just a mate but a loved one to us all big man. Forever in my heart brother for life. Miss you buddy."

An ashen-faced Clarke said in a statement on behalf of the Hughes family: "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."

Australia great Shane Warne described the news of Hughes' death as "shocking", "horrific and very, very sad".

Abbott urged to play again

Cricket: Sean Abbott has been encouraged to resume the fast-bowling career that earned him Australia recognition in the weeks before the death of Phillip Hughes.

It was New South Wales paceman Abbott who delivered the bouncer that struck Hughes on the neck, in an area unprotected by his helmet, and caused the injury that led to the batsman dying in hospital on Thursday.

Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist wrote on Twitter: "May those footprints in the sand now support another young man in need. #SeanAbbott"

Kevin Pietersen told the Daily Telegraph it was important that Abbott, who recently made one-day international and T20 debuts for Australia, receives plenty of help in the wake of the tragedy.

"The man who really needs our support at the moment is Sean Abbott," Pietersen said. "He needs a lot of strong people around him to encourage him to continue playing our great game and understand this was a freak accident.

"We need to encourage him to stay strong, and have a good career for Australia. It is what Phillip Hughes would have wanted."

O'Sullivan prepared to leg it

Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan started his UK Championship campaign against Daniel Wells on one leg but will withdraw from the tournament if he feels no let-up from his broken ankle by the weekend.

The Rocket beat plucky amateur Wells 6-2 at York's Barbican Centre, coming through after a tricky first half of the match.

For all the admirable courage shown, O'Sullivan admitted afterwards he will not start Sunday's second-round match against Leeds veteran Peter Lines if he has felt no improvements.

"The injury is disappointing, a broken ankle. It is not too comfortable and I didn't enjoy any of that," the 38-year-old said at his post-match press conference. "I've taken all the painkillers, done all I can do, and if it's not better by Sunday I probably won't play."

Elsewhere, 1997 world champion Ken Doherty beat Mitchell Mann.

The York crowd rose to salute Ali Carter as he returned to ranking-tournament action for the first time since beating cancer, but he will be going home after losing a last-frame decider to Zhang Anda.

Webber salutes Mercedes

Motor Sport: Mark Webber has praised Mercedes for their handling of the Lewis Hamilton-Nico Rosberg battle for this year's Formula One world title.

Webber said: "It has been handled impeccably through the whole year between the pair of them. It is everything the way it should have been done, and did happen in the end, with the team giving them both a chance. It's been a good hard battle between two guys from the same team for the first time since (Ayrton) Senna/(Alain) Prost. They handled that advantage incredibly well, which is not easy."


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