Former Israel captain killed in freak accident whilst umpiring
Former Israel captain Hillel Awaskar has died after being hit by a ball in a freak accident whilst umpiring in a club match in Ashdod. Exact details of the incident are confused, but it appears that after the batsman hit the ball straight, it ricocheted off the stumps and hit him on the head. He was rushed to hospital where he died a short time later.
The match was the last of the Israeli season, and had been proceeded by a minutes silence in memory of Australia's Phillip Hughes, who died just two days earlier after being hit by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match. A statement on the Cricket Australia website said "On behalf of the Australian cricket fraternity, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland will reach out to the Israeli Cricket Association later today to extend his sympathies to the Israeli cricket community."
Israel Cricket Association chief Naor Gudker said in a statement to the media, "We're simply in shock. We know a ball was hit in his direction, he tried to escape it, he fell - what happened there is still being investigated. The entire Israel Cricket Association and players bow their heads in his memory. He was a wonderful man, cricketer, and umpire."
Awaskar played for Israel 56 times between 1982 and 2006, captaining the team at the 1982 and 2007 ICC Trophy tournaments, the 1996 European Championship and 2006 European Championship Division 2. His highest score was 66 against Gibraltar at the 1990 ICC Trophy and his best bowling was 3-37 against Germany at the 1998 European Championship.
He was 55, and is survived by his wife, two daughters and his one month old grandchild.