The inquest into the death of the Australian batsman Phillip Hughes has been the center of attraction over the past few days. A coroner's inquest into the death of Hughes started off on Monday and is scheduled to go on for a week reviewing the circumstances of the incident that led to his death.
Hughes was hit on the back of his neck while trying to hook a bouncer by Sean Abbott in a Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia in Sydney cricket ground on 25th November 2014. The batsman lost his life two days later in St. Victoria Hospital in Sydney.
Day three of the inquest saw Abbott's witness statement at NSW Coroner's court being released. "After Phillip was struck, I saw him start to sway and I ran to the other end of the pitch and I held the right side of his head with my left hand," Abbott's statement said.
"I remained on the field until Phillip was placed on the medicab and then returned to the change room."
Abbott's views on the death of Hughes were highly anticipated as the New South Wales pacer has never talked about it since the fatal incident. Talking about his state of mind after the on-field incident, Abbott said he was totally confused and upset.
"Once in the change room, I felt confused and upset. I had a headache, people kept coming up to me but I cannot remember what they said,”, the statement revealed. "It was all a bit of a blur and I felt like I was in a bit of a daze. I felt super tired. These feelings stayed with me for the next few days."
While explaining about Hughes' blow he said that Hughes was a bit early through the shot. "If a batsman is early through the shot it makes me think that the ball is slower than they had anticipated," the statement read. "I don't remember the ball being fast or slow. Maybe the wicket was a little bit slower that day. That's the type of wicket at the SCG."
Abbott also talked about the strong character that Hughes possessed. "I always knew that I would have to work hard to get him out. I don't think I had ever got him out," he said. "From my experience, Phillip as a Test cricketer had a very strong cut shot," he was quoted as saying by Herald Sun.
The first two days brought out some startling revelations from the inquest. While Hughes' family claimed that the New South Wales team targeted him with short balls, Brad Haddin and Doug Bollinger were reluctant to accept it, claiming that the plan was to reduce the scoring rate.
Bollinger was even accused of sledging Hughes and his batting partner Tom Cooper by saying "I will kill you." However, Cooper denied it saying Bollinger has always been funny with his sledging.
With the inquest set to continue until Friday, the Australian cricketers and supporters will be looking to stand with Hughes' family through this grim period.