Hughes died in a Sydney hospital on Thursday, two days after Abbott delivered the bouncer which hit the Australia opener on the neck and left him fighting for his life on the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch.
The 22-year-old was comforted by Australia captain Michael Clarke and Hughes’ sister Megan at the hospital on Thursday and Cricket Australia has pledged as much support as possible for Abbott as cricketers around the world offered him sympathy and encouragement.
“I had a chat to him last night and I was incredibly impressed by the way he was holding himself and his maturity,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.
“But the point is this not a moment-in-time thing. This is a grieving process that will affect people in different ways. What we will do and the relevant experts will do is provide Sean with the support he needs.”
The Australian Cricket Players’ Association said Abbott was being counselled and closely monitored.
“He has got a lot of support around him from his team-mates and also the counselling services,” ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson said. “He’s someone who we’re monitoring closely and we know he’s got a lot of support around him.”
Australia team doctor Peter Brukner said Clarke had spent a significant amount of time with Abbott at Sydney’s St. Vincent’s Hospital on Thursday.
“Phillip’s sister, Megan, also came and spent significant time with Sean,” Brukner said.
“Obviously what Sean has gone through is an incredibly traumatic experience, as it has been for everyone present on the field that day.”
Former Australia fast bowler Stuart Clark also took time to speak to Abbott.
“It will be the hardest for him when it’s quiet and there’s nothing happening,” Clark told Australia’s Sky Sports Radio.
“When he’s sitting at home at night before he goes to bed. That’s, I think, when the thoughts will start recurring in his mind. You worry that this could jeopardize Sean Abbott and his cricket career and we don’t want that.”