Israeli umpire hit by cricket ball dies
AN UMPIRE and former captain of Israel's national cricket team died on Saturday after being hit by a ball - just two days after the death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes due to a freak head injury left the sports world reeling.
The Israel Cricket Association (ICA) said Hillel Oscar, 55, died after being hit by a ball which had just been struck by a batsman. He was officiating in a match in the southern port city of Ashdod.
"We're simply in shock," ICA chief Naor Gudker said from the hospital where Mr Oscar was pronounced dead. "He was an international umpire. He officiated in European championships, he officiated in games in Israel: His future was ahead of him."
Israeli police said they were investigating his death.
"We know a ball was hit in his direction, he tried to escape it, he fell - what happened there is still being investigated," said Mr Gudker.
Fatal accidents are rare in cricket. But Mr Oscar's death comes just after Mr Hughes died of a severe head injury caused when he was hit by a ball during a New South Wales match in Sydney.
He was wearing a helmet, but the rising ball struck him on the side of the neck in a "freakish accident", according to the Australian team doctor Peter Brukner.