Wife of Dead Israeli Umpire Tells of His Love for Cricket

Just before his death in a freak accident, Hillel Awasker took a selfie of himself paying tribute to Philip Hughes, another cricketer who died on the pitch.

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Boys watch the Maccabiah Games cricket final, July 29, 2013.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Cricket umpire Hillel Awasker, who died on Saturday after being hit in the chest by a cricket ball, took a selfie of himself paying tribute to Australian batsman Philip Hughes just moments before his death, his wife Jenny said on Monday.

Awasker died in a freak accident during a league match in Ashdod. Hughes, a one-time member of the Australian national cricket team, died after the ball hit him on the neck during a provincial match in Sydney last week.

Speaking by phone to the Pakistan Observer, Jenny Awasker said that her husband had promised to send her the selfie during the next break – but "alas, that moment never came."

“It was sad," Jenny said. "Losing two cricket-related men in one week and it being due to activity on the field is very sad.”

She added however that she did not regret his being involved in cricket. "He loved the game so much as a player, as an umpire and a coach. I would have regretted it had he not taken up this profession,” she said.

“He was involved in coaching for children also. He went to England and learnt coaching skill there. The children here loved him so much as their coach.”

Hillel Awasker was born in Mumbai and immigrated to Israel in 1977. He and Jenny married in 1983 and have two daughters.