New South Wales Coroners court to hold inquest over the death of Phil Hughes
Cricket witnessed a tragic incident in a Sheffield Shield match on 25 November 2014. It was a sunny day and South Australia were playing against New South Wales in Sydney cricket ground. Phil Hughes was batting at 63 before being knocked down by Sean Abbott's fatal bouncer. The Australian batsman was immediately taken to the hospital where he underwent a surgery and was placed in an induced coma.
On 27 November 2014, three days before his 26th birthday, Hughes passed away. The left hander's death shocked the world of cricket and the safety of the players in the sport became the prime importance for once. It has been two years since the talented batsman left his innings midway and the New South Wales Coroners court has held several inquests.
The court has decided to hold another inquest in the coming weeks into the circumstances that led to the Australian batsman's death. Players on the field at the time of the incident are expected to be present at the court. The likes of Brad Haddin and Sean Abbott may be required to give evidence at the inquest.
Cricket Australia's commissioned review had earlier indicated that no amount of increased head protection could have changed the course of events. "The State Coroner will examine the manner and cause of death," a spokesperson for NSW Coroners court was quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
"Some of the issues that will be examined include how the fatal injury occurred, the nature of play and whether it exacerbated the risk of injury and whether or not a protective helmet would have minimised the risk of Phillip Hughes dying. It will also examine emergency planning and response, as well as training," he said.
Earlier, a Cricket Australia review was conducted by David Curtain QC which was submitted to CA chief executive James Sutherland.
Sutherland shared views on Curtain's report, "You'll see in the brief terms of reference we gave David Curtain that we needed to draw a line about the laws of the game and to have some perspective around that." He further went on to say that, you can make the game of cricket a lot safer by playing with a tennis ball, but that's not how Test cricket has been played and it would obviously be a very different game."
He insisted that the true essence of cricket shouldn't be spoiled while taking care of the player's safety, "We're not wanting to go there, but we do need to find the right balance in the circumstances to not compromise the way the game's played and not compromise the way in which the players are best equipped to show their skills."
The Australian players and supporters will be hoping that the inquest turns out to be productive, unlike the previous ones.