Coro­ner finds ‘mi­nus­cule mis­judg­ment’ led to Hughes’ death

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

PERTH, Aus­tralia (AP): A CORO­NER who led an in­quest into the death of in­ter­na­tional bats­man Phillip Hughes has rec­om­mended that Cricket Aus­tralia re­view its laws on dan­ger­ous and un­fair bowl­ing to re­move am­bi­gu­ity, and urged the sport’s gov­ern­ing body to man­date the use of ex­tra neck pro­tec­tion on bat­ting hel­mets.

New South Wales state coro­ner Michael Barnes handed down his find­ings yes­ter­day, three weeks af­ter a five-day hear­ing into the cir­cum­stances of Hughes’ death con­cluded in Syd­ney.

At the in­quest, a lawyer for the Hughes fam­ily said the 25year-old Test crick­eter was sub­jected to ver­bal abuse and an ex­tra­or­di­nary amount of short­pitch bowl­ing, or bounc­ers, be­fore he was fa­tally struck on the back of the head and neck by a steeply bounc­ing bowl by Sean Ab­bott dur­ing a domestic first-class match in Novem­ber 2014.

But Barnes ruled that it was a “tragic ac­ci­dent”, find­ing that Hughes was ex­pe­ri­enced in han­dling high-bounc­ing de­liv­er­ies, that there was no mal­ice in­tended, and that there was no fail­ure to en­force rules by the um­pires that con­trib­uted to the death.

“A mi­nus­cule mis­judg­ment or a slight er­ror of ex­e­cu­tion caused him to miss the ball which crashed into his neck with fa­tal con­se­quences,” Barnes said in his find­ings. “There was no sug­ges­tion the ball was bowled with ma­li­cious in­tent. Nei­ther the bowler nor any­one else was to blame for the tragic out­come.”

SHORT-PITCHED

The match be­tween New South Wales and South Aus­tralia states ended abruptly when Hughes sud­denly col­lapsed on the pitch at the Syd­ney Cricket Ground af­ter be­ing struck by a bouncer, or short-pitched de­liv­ery. He was taken to a nearby hos­pi­tal but died two days later from a brain haem­or­rhage caused by a torn ver­te­bral artery.

The coro­nial in­quest was called to in­ves­ti­gate whether the na­ture of play con­trib­uted to the risk, and also the re­sponse by sta­dium and cricket staff and of­fi­cials.

As well as his rec­om­men­da­tions to Cricket Aus­tralia, Barnes di­rected the New South Wales state cricket as­so­ci­a­tion and the sta­dium op­er­a­tors to re­view and im­prove med­i­cal and safety pro­to­cols for play­ers, of­fi­cials and staff to en­sure a faster re­sponse to emer­gency sit­u­a­tions.

Barnes said Cricket Aus­tralia needed to re­view its reg­u­la­tions on play­ing con­di­tions be­cause the laws re­gard­ing lim­its on short-pitch bowl­ing and what con­sti­tuted a dan­ger­ous or un­fair de­liv­ery were too open to in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

Phillip Hughes

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.