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Inquest into Aussie cricketer Phil Hughes' death gets underway


Canberra, Oct 10 (IANS) A five-day inquest into the death of Australian cricketer Phil Hughes began on Monday, almost two years after the promising batsman was killed while playing in the nation's professional domestic league.

Hughes, 25, died in hospital on November 27, 2014 two days after a ball struck his neck and caused a fatal haemorrhage in his brain. At the time, Hughes was playing for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield domestic cricket competition.

Teammates and opponents will be required to recall details from the day of Hughes' death, while the coroner will also examine whether or not the tragedy could have been prevented. The inquest will take testimony from emergency service workers, players and health professionals, reports Xinhua.

It will ask whether or not the tactics employed by the opposing New South Wales cricketers played a part in the death, while it will also probe whether or not a different kind of helmet could have prevented the tragedy.

A statement from Hughes' family said they were preparing for a "very difficult week", but were hopeful that further answers could come out of the five-day process.

"This is going to be a very, very, very difficult week for (the family)," the statement read.

"They have not been looking forward to this week. They are hoping that perhaps there will be a positive come out of Phillip's death as we go through the next five days inside the Coroner's Court."

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland said the five-day inquest was a sad reminder that "Phillip is no longer with us".

"Our thoughts are very much with his family," Sutherland said outside the Sydney Coroner's Court on Monday.

"Our thoughts are also with Phillip's cricket friends, his teammates and best mates, many of whom have had to deal with the trauma of not only losing a mate but being on the ground at the time."

The five-day inquest began on Monday and is set to conclude on Friday, when the findings are handed down by coroner Michael Barnes.



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