TRAGEDY: Phil Hughes' death was a tragedy that sparked a massive outpouring of emotion.
TRAGEDY: Phil Hughes' death was a tragedy that sparked a massive outpouring of emotion. Blake Bodycote

OPINION: Phil Hughes' death inquest damaging

IT WAS a tragedy that will hopefully never happen again, but the inquest into Phil Hughes' death is doing the game more harm than good.

Everyone understands it was horrific, tragic, a freak accident, and that work should, and is, being done to improve equipment to try and prevent it happening again.

So what is being achieved by dragging Hughes' old opponents, team mates and friends - men who mourned his tragic death - through the wringer?

Painting them out as liars, thugs with things to hide. It's disgraceful.

Sledging has been a part of the gentleman's game since it began and will always be there, as will short-pitched bowling.


Sheffield Shield NSW vs SA, Coffs Cex stadium.Doug Bollinger NSW 25 Februray 2016Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate
GRILLED: Former Australian quick and NSW paceman Doug Bollinger was among a number of players who have copped a grilling throughout the coronial inquest into Phil Hughes' death. Trevor Veale

It's not an act of brutality.

It's a plan to try and snare the wicket of a batsman. An art form. A genuine tactic.

Phil Hughes was not comfortable playing the short ball. That was no state secret.

I remember as a kid watching Steve Waugh literally shoulder arms and walk into short balls.

The same thing could've happened to him. Hughes' death was a freak accident.

I don't see what is being achieved by casting clouds over the integrity of these men who were simply out there playing the game they loved, trying to win a game of cricket.

No one sets out to kill anyone and things said in the heat of battle have always been a part of sport.

The money spent on this inquest would've been far better invested into research and development into improved helmet designs to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Let Phil Hughes' memory remain; let him rest easy as his family and friends still struggle to find peace.