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Last Updated: Monday, 19 January, 2004, 08:48 GMT
Hookes dies after fight
David Hookes
Hookes played 23 Tests for Australia
Former Australia batsman David Hookes has died after suffering head injuries in a fight outside a Melbourne pub.

The 48-year-old, who played 23 Tests from 1977-86, was revived by paramedics after being caught up in a fight.

He had serious head injuries and never regained consciousness.

Hookes, coach of the Victoria state side, had been drinking with his players after their win over South Australia in a one-day game on Sunday.

His death was announced on Monday by his brother, Terry Cranagh.

A man arrested over the incident appeared before Melbourne Magistrates' Court on a charge of assault.

Hotel bouncer Zdravco Micevic was granted bail on condition he surrender his passport, report to police three times a week and reappear for committal on April 13.

South Australia captain Darren Lehmann spent much of the day helping police with enquiries.

Hookes was reportedly trying to help the Test batsman when the fracas began.

It has not yet been decided whether Victoria's Pura Cup game against South Australia, scheduled to start on Friday, will go ahead.

We've been very close mates going back to schoolboy cricket days so this has hit pretty hard
Allan Border
Former Australia captain
Hookes made a sparkling debut aged 21 in the Centenary Test in Melbourne in 1977, hitting England's Tony Greig for five consecutive boundaries as he reached his half-century.

The left-hander made 1,306 test runs, including a top score of 143 not out, at an average of 34.36.

Hookes is also the fifth-highest run-scorer in Australian interstate cricket, with 9,364 runs for South Australia.

He had a highest score of 306 not out and averaged 47.77 in 120 matches before retiring from first-class cricket 10 years ago.

In recent years he has developed a reputation as an outspoken radio and television commentator.

Former Test captain Steve Waugh said news of the assault stunned him.

"I felt physically very sick this morning when I heard the news, and it really is terrible," said Waugh, whose first Test in 1985-86 was Hookes' last.

Waugh's successor Ricky Ponting was equally taken aback at "terribly sad news".

"Sitting with the guys at the airport this morning everyone was in a state of shock and no one could believe what happened," Ponting said.

Test selector and former captain Allan Border described his friend as a "larger than life character".

"We've been very close mates going back to schoolboy cricket days so this has hit pretty hard," he added.

Hookes is survived by his wife Robyn and stepchildren Caprice and Kristofer.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Peter Baxter
"Hookes burst on the scene at the age of just 21"



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