Almost two years after a ball to the neck felled Phillip Hughes, Australian cricketers are expected to tell a coroner what they remember from the day that rattled the national game.
Hughes died two days after he was struck on the side of the head by a short-pitched delivery from friend and pace bowler Sean Abbott during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25, 2014.
State Coroner Michael Barnes is expected to look at the media coverage of the death, after Hughes’ family reported feeling upset by the frequent broadcast of the fatal incident.
Whether the nature of play exacerbated the risk of injury and if a different protective helmet would have reduced the likelihood of death are among other topics to be explored, a NSW Coroner’s Court spokesperson said on Friday.
Hughes’ family is not expected to speak publicly but the 25-year-old’s manager, James Henderson, will make a statement on their behalf before the five-day hearing kicks off on Monday morning.
Hughes’ death prompted a report by Australian Bar Association president David Curtain SC, who found the former Test batsman received appropriate medical attention in the 20 minutes and 10 seconds between being struck and an ambulance arriving.
The Curtain report also found the death would not have been prevented if Hughes had been wearing a British-standard helmet.
Hughes, who played 26 Tests and 25 one-day internationals, did not regain consciousness before his death.
At his funeral, then-Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke spoke about losing the friend he called “little brother”.
“We must dig in, and get through to tea and we must play on,” Clarke said.
“So rest in peace my little brother I will see you out in the middle.”