Cricket Australia to commission review into Phillip Hughes death
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Cricket Australia to commission review into Phillip Hughes death

Posted on - May 14 Thursday, 2015

Cricket Australia is to commission an independent review into the death of Phillip Hughes, who died on 27 November last year, two days after being struck on the neck by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG.

CA has already increased the medical presence at all CA matches and is working closely with its helmet supplier ahead of the 2015-16 season. Chief executive James Sutherland has called in David Curtain QC, a former chairman of the Victorian Bar Council and president of the Australian Bar Association, to determine what more can be done.

“This is not an exercise designed to apportion blame on any individual for what took place,” Sutherland said. “It is about making sure that as a sport we are doing everything in our power to prevent an accident of this nature happening again.

“We have a deep responsibility and obligation to look into the events of that awful day to understand everything that occurred and then see what could be done to prevent a similar accident happening.”

The review is being undertaken with the support of the Hughes family and the findings are set to be made public later this year. Sutherland acknowledged the upcoming review could be a “traumatic experience for some”.

“We will be as respectful and understanding as possible throughout that time,” he said. “Cricket Australia and all states continue to make available counselling and support to any players and staff who feel they need help at any time.”

Australia’s 2014-15 Test series against India was delayed then rescheduled as the national side grieved the loss of Hughes. Captain Michael Clarke delivered an emotional eulogy at the funeral of his “little brother” in Macksville.

Clarke went on to score a poignant century in the first Test against India, as did David Warner and Steve Smith. Warner was in the field for NSW and travelled on the medicab with Hughes when the felled batsman was taken from the field at the SCG.

“We’re always going to look up there and know he’s looking down on us. I’m going to carry it for the rest of my career,” Warner said after his ton at Adelaide Oval.

What the independent review will investigate:

Causes and circumstances which led to the injury and ultimate death of Phillip Hughes
Policies, practices or systems in place to prevent a similar accident from occurring, including those relating to preventing traumatic injuries to the head and heart

CA’s approach to mandating, and enforcing the wearing of personal protective equipment in order to protect the head and heart

CA’s approach to the provision and use of cricket helmets, including consideration of helmet certification standards and suitability

CA’s approach to medical screening of contracted players, especially those players with particular vulnerabilities

CA’s approach to providing a safe working environment at venues for both matches and training, including management of participants who suffer, or may be perceived to have suffered, head and heart injuries.