Cricket Australia releases independent review into the death of Phillip Hughes
May 11, 2016
Cricket Australia today released the recommendations from the independent review into the death of Phillip Hughes.
Conducted by Melbourne-based barrister Mr David Curtain QC, the review makes a number of recommendations, some of which had already been implemented by Cricket Australia during the 2015-16 season.
A former Chairman of the Victorian Bar Council and President of the Australian Bar Association, Mr Curtain’s key findings in the 62-page report included:
- The treatment Phillip Hughes received was appropriate after being struck in the neck by a ball.
- The now mandated British Standard helmet would have offered no protection where he was struck.
- There is limited scientific evidence that current neck guards will prevent a similar tragedy and they must be properly evaluated before they are mandated. Evaluations will be ongoing.
- A defibrillator must be available at all Cricket Australia sanctioned competitions in the unlikely event a player suffers from a heart condition.
Under Cricket Australia’s current concussion and head injury policy team medical staff will continue to have sole discretion as to whether any player at national, state or elite pathway level, who has been struck in the head, can continue in the game.
To support medical staff further, Cricket Australia has suggested a concussion substitute be permissible for domestic cricket. It is understood that the ICC Cricket Committee will consider this and related issues at their next meeting on 31 May. ICC approval of the introduction of substitutes is required in order for four day matches to retain their first class status.
Approval is also currently being sought from Cricket Australia’s Playing Conditions Advisory Committee to allow a concussions substitute in all other domestic male and female elite competitions.
Cricket Australia is also currently working with various parties to identify design, performance and evaluation criteria for helmet neck guards.
Helmets that meet the most recent British Standard and provide the highest level of protection were mandated last season for elite players and will now be compulsory when facing medium and fast bowling in Cricket Australia sanctioned matches and at training.
Helmets must also be worn by wicket-keepers standing up to the stumps and fielders within seven metres of the batter on strike, with the exception of any fielding position behind square of the wicket on the off side.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland thanked Mr Curtain for his thorough review and endorsed its recommendations.
“The global cricket community was deeply saddened by the tragic death of Phillip Hughes and the great loss his family suffered,” Mr Sutherland said.
“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 will also cooperate fully with the coronial inquest into Phillip Hughes’ death, likely to be scheduled to take place 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 cooperative as possible with any coronial inquest,” Mr 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,” concluded Mr Sutherland.
Download the full review can be viewed here.