Bollinger can't recall 'kill' sledge
Photo Source: AAP
Former Australian fast bowler Doug Bollinger says he can't recall saying words like "I'm going to kill youse" before Phillip Hughes was fatally struck with a ball almost two years ago.
Bollinger was giving evidence at the inquest into the 25-year-old cricketer's death, which occurred two days after he was struck on the side of the neck by a short-pitched delivery from pace bowler Sean Abbott during a Sheffield Shield match on November 25, 2014.
Counsel for Hughes' family Greg Melick SC suggested Bollinger said words to the effect of "I'm going to kill you" or "I'm going to kill youse" to Hughes or his batting partner Tom Cooper before the fatal incident.
" I don't recall saying that," Bollinger said at the Downing Centre on Monday.
"I may have but I don't think so."
Earlier Bollinger had completely denied making the comments.
In a written statement partly read to the court, he said he didn't remember sledging Hughes at all but said it's possible he may have said something to Cooper.
The court has heard that numerous cricketers due to give evidence have requested not to view disturbing footage of Hughes' fatal incident in preparation for the inquest.
Some of the cricketer's family members walked out of court before it was played to the coroner.
Retired Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin said he saw Hughes get hit but didn't know which part of his body had been struck.
"He looked OK for a second then it was something like I've never witnessed before in my life," he said.
"It was the noise that he let out. The groan and the way he fell ... straight down motionless."
State Coroner Michael Barnes will look at whether the nature of play contributed to risk, the response to Hughes' injury and whether different equipment could make players safer.
Haddin said he didn't think concerns from Hughes' family that the batsman had been unfairly targeted by short balls from the NSW bowlers were justified.
Haddin said he had no recollection of Bollinger "mouthing off" and that he only talked to the team's coach about changing field positions during the lunch break to slow the scoring rate.
But Mr Mellick SC, said David Warner's statement indicated there was a plan to bowl at or over leg stump to move Hughes backward.
Haddin and Bollinger both said they had no recollection of such a plan.
Mr Barnes started the inquest by offering his condolences to the Hughes family, saying the cricketer was "before anything else, a son and a brother".
Outside court, Hughes' manager James Henderson and Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland both said they hoped something positive would come out of the week.
Mr Henderson said it was a "very, very difficult" time for Hughes' family.
It's not yet known whether Mr Barnes will hand down findings at the end of the week or a later date.
Australian Test and one-day vice captain David Warner, who is in South Africa, is expected to give his evidence via audio visual link.
The inquest continues.