CA to reach out to Hughes family
Photo Source: AAP
Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland plans to reach out to the family of Philllip Hughes after last week's inquest laid bare a clear divide between the two parties.
Much of the coronial hearing into the death of Hughes, who was felled by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield game in 2014, focused on short-pitched bowling and sledging.
Hughes' family expressed concerns the gifted batsman was targeted in an 'ungentlemanly' fashion by NSW prior to being struck by a bouncer.
Australia vice-captain David Warner was among players to testify no sledging took place on the day.
Hughes' family appeared furious at various points of the week, most notably during the closing submission of CA's legal representative Bruce Hodgkinson SC.
"I guess people can draw those conclusions," Sutherland said, when asked if CA's relationship with Hughes' family was fractured.
"Certainly from my perspective I have always tried very hard to stay in touch with the Hughes family and I'll continue to do that into the future.
"It was an emotional week. It was a very difficult time to go through and it always was going to be.
"Whilst it was hard, hopefully along the way there can be some good to come of it."
Sutherland attended day one of the inquest but then had to travel to South Africa for International Cricket Council meetings.
He is yet to speak with any member of Hughes' family since the hearing finished last Friday.
"I just haven't been in the same time zone but at the right time I'll reach out to them," Sutherland said on Monday.
Sutherland noted it had been a "terribly confronting" week for everyone involved in the hearing, including players Warner, Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin and Tom Cooper who were all called to give evidence.
"I couldn't help but feel at times (for players who testified) during the course of the week. It's certainly not what you would expect to be part of a cricketer's job to appear in a hearing like that," he said.
"We were really conscious of that and we provided support as best we could.
"During the course of the week but also counselling and other services were available to our players."
NSW Coroner Michael Barnes will release his findings and recommendations on November 4.
"Until those findings come down it's probably difficult to speculate exactly what the next steps are," Sutherland said.
"But obviously we're very much intent on ensuring a tragedy like that never happens again on a cricket field."