New safety measures would not have saved Phillip Hughes

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An independent review has found new safety measures in cricket introduced after the on-field death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes would not have saved his life.

Hughes was killed after being struck on the back of the head by a cricket ball during Sheffield Shield match at the SCG on November 25, 2014.

Mandatory helmets have since been introduced for batsmen, wicket keepers and close fielders.

The review released by Cricket Australia this morning, which looked at the causes and circumstances leading up to the death of Hughes, found new protective equipment would have been unlikely to prevent the tragedy, however.

“I do not believe that the new helmet would have afforded additional protection against the blow given the location of where Phillip was struck, as the protection to the neck, at the rear, is no different (to the helmet Hughes was wearing),” said barrister David Curtain, who chaired the review.

The 62-page report was commissioned by Cricket Australia 12 months ago.

Other findings included:

  • The treatment Hughes recieved following the accident was appropriate.
  • The now mandated British Standard helmet would have offered no protection where he was struck.
  • There evidence that current neck guards will prevent a similar tragedy.
  • Any helmet that is struck with force must be immediately replaced.
  • Umpire should also wear protective headwear if there is seen to be an increased risk of injury.
  • A defibrillator must be available at all Cricket Australia sanctioned competitions.

Cricket Australia will co-operate fully with the coronial inquest into Hughes’ death that is expected to be held in Sydney in October this year.

“We have had ongoing open dialogue with the New South Wales Crown Solicitor and have indicated that we will be as co-operative as possible with any coronial inquest,” CEO James Sutherland said.

“Never again do we want to see a tragedy of that nature happen on a cricket field and we have shared the findings of this review with the coroner.”

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