Phillip Hughes died in 2014 after being struck by a bouncer © Getty Images
The death of Phillip Hughes was a tragic accident caused by a “minuscule misjudgement” from the batsman and no failure to enforce the laws of the game contributed to his death, according to the New South Wales coroner Michael Barnes.
Mr Barnes on Friday released his findings from the coronial inquest into the death of Hughes, who was struck on the neck by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG in November 2014. Although the coroner determined that Hughes had been targeted by bouncers during his innings, he found that such bowling tactics were not against the laws of the game and Hughes’ skill as a batsman equipped him well to deal with such bowling.
“Phillip was targeted by short-pitched balls bowled at or over leg stump or middle stump that placed him in greater danger of being struck,” Mr Barnes said. “Of the 23 bouncers bowled on that day, 20 were bowled to him.
“However, in view of the evidence of the other players, the presiding umpires, and Mr Taufel [former umpire Simon Taufel], that Phillip was, because of his high level of skill and confidence, comfortably dealing with the short-pitched balls, I conclude that no failure to enforce the laws of the game contributed to his death.
“Such was his skill and experience, he was well able to deal with such bowling, but even the best can’t perform perfectly all of the time. He could have avoided the ball by ducking under it, but such was his competitiveness, he sought to make runs from it. A minuscule misjudgement, or a slight error of execution, caused him to miss the ball which crashed into his neck with fatal consequences. There is absolutely no suggestion the ball was bowled with malicious intent.”
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo