Axed Australian opener Phil Hughes was punched by a stranger while he was drinking, and lost his shirt during the melee that took place at the Star Hotel in Macksville on the Boxing Day.
A witness said Hughes, who had spent the day at Bowraville races before arriving at the pub, was involved in a dust-up with another male patron after the two men exchanged heated words.
Hughes’ manager, James Henderson, said that there was an “altercation” on Monday night but Hughes was not the instigator.
“Phil was with a big group of friends and family and they were approached by another guy who had had a bit to drink and was giving (Hughes) some lip,” Henderson said.
“The man who punched Phil wasn’t with his group at all. He just came at Phil and hit him for whatever reason and he was later escorted from the premises.”
Hughes lost his shirt in the melee but went home to change into a replacement before returning to the hotel to continue drinking.
“Phil was not escorted from the hotel. He came back after changing his shirt and stayed on until it closed just after 9pm,” Henderson said.