Better helmet would not have saved Phil Hughes, says review report

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Better helmet would not have saved Phil Hughes, says review report

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Arun S Kaimal

05/11/2016

A review into the tragic demise of cricketer Phillip Hughes says that nothing could have been done to save the former Australian Test player. Hughes died in November of 2014, two days after a ball struck him on the neck, while batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG.

Cricket Australia released the independent review conducted by President of the Australian Bar Association and former Chairman of the Victorian Bar Council David Curtain QC, earlier today. The review report says that the cricketer would not have been saved even if he had been wearing the highest-standard helmet.

"The helmet was compliant with an Australian standard, which has since been withdrawn, but was not compliant with the more recent British standard.

"In any event ... I do not believe 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," the report by barrister David Curtain said.

The 62-page report also ruled out the possibility of lack of medical attention being a factor to the cricketer’s death.

"Subject to the coronial enquiry (to be held later this year), I am of the opinion that the attention received by Phillip after being struck had no role whatsoever on his subsequent demise, due to the nature and severity of his injury," Curtain says in his review.

"I do not believe any lack of medical attention contributed to Phillip's death."

The report recommends that all the first class cricketers should be asked to wear the highest standard helmets when batting against fast bowlers and medium pace bowlers during matches and training. Wicket-keepers, who stand up to the stumps, are also required to wear helmets and eye protector. Cricket Australia said that they received the recommendations last season and have been working on implementing the new safety measures.

“We received Mr. Curtain’s review last season and since that time, we have been considering his recommendations and discussing with relevant bodies as to how we best make changes necessary to prevent an accident of this nature happening again.

“While there will always be a small risk we believe that the measures we have already taken and will enact following this review will reduce that risk even further,” Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said in a press release.  

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