Cricket: Israeli umpire dies after being hit by ball

The umpire clears the wickets as players temporarily leave the field amid rain during a match between between the West Indies and Bangladesh on Sept 15, 2014. An umpire and former captain of Israel's national cricket team died on Saturday after being
The umpire clears the wickets as players temporarily leave the field amid rain during a match between between the West Indies and Bangladesh on Sept 15, 2014. An umpire and former captain of Israel's national cricket team died on Saturday after being hit in the jaw by a ball, the country's cricket association said.-- PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - An umpire and former captain of Israel's national cricket team died on Saturday after being hit in the jaw by a ball, the country's cricket association said.

His death comes just two days after Australian batsman Phillip Hughes died of a severe head injury after being hit by a bouncer in a New South Wales match in Sydney.

Israeli police ruled out foul play in the incident that led to the death of the umpire, named by the Israel Cricket Association (ICA) as 55-year-old Hillel Oscar, in the southern port city of Ashdod.

ICA chief Naor Gudker told AFP Saturday's game was the last in the national league season.

"We're simply in shock," he said from the hospital where 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," Gudker said.

"He was a player for the national Israeli team and he was captain of the national team."

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," Gudker told AFP.

"The entire Israel Cricket Association and players bow their heads in his memory. He was a wonderful man, cricketer, and umpire," Gudker said.