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‘No-one to blame for Phillip Hughes’ death’

Phillip Hughes

The inquest heard Hughes’ death was “inevitable” from the moment he was struck by a cricket ball

Nobody was to blame for the death of Australia cricketer Phillip Hughes in 2014, says the coroner who led the inquest into the batsman’s death.

Hughes died aged 25 from a brain haemorrhage, two days after being hit on the neck during a first-class match in Sydney.

New South Wales coroner Michael Barnes did, however, make recommendations to make the sport safer.

In his final report, he also queried the prevalence of sledging in the game.

Mr Barnes said he could not be certain sledging – a form of verbal abuse designed to unsettle a batsman – had taken place, but it was “difficult to accept” it had not.

Regardless, it would not have played any part in Hughes’ death and he further found there had been no “malicious intent” from New South Wales’ Sean Abbott, who bowled the fatal delivery to the South Australia batsman.

The coroner also found that changes to safety equipment introduced since Hughes’ death would not have saved the player.

He did though conclude the emergency response to the incident was flawed – although everyone involved performed to the best of their abilities.

Cricket Australia has since implemented changes to emergency procedures but Mr Barnes said more could be done to ensure similar tragedies do not happen again.

Citing the delay in getting medical help on to the field of play, he said umpires should be trained to recognise and act on a medical emergency.

He also said match referees – who are in constant two-way radio contact with the two on-field umpires – should also be trained to help ensure players in need of emergency treatment are reached quickly.

More to follow.

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Cricket bats and caps belonging to the players were placed near the scoreboard which displayed a tribute to Phillip Hughes

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/37868220