Few Australians, let alone cricket fans, haven’t bared witness to the Phil Hughes tragedy.
It’s plain to see what happened in public view on camera and played ad nauseam over the ensuing days.
A freak accident, one that simply couldn’t have been avoided with the helmet technology at hand, the rules of cricket or accepted tactics to which players universally accept when they step onto the pitch.
The medics did all they could but the fatal damage was already done.
Kristina Stern SC said as much in her opening address.
Why, two years later, players are being put through the wringer and implicated in various ways is incomprehensible.
When the video was about to be played Phil’s father Greg and sister Megan rushed from the courtroom crying.
Reliving the nightmare is not helping the family. Nor Phil’s many friends and former teammates.
There is no culprit to be locked away, no matter what was alleged to have been said or how many bouncers were bowled at Hughes that day.
Picking over the horrible wound serves no purpose. There are no answers for Phil’s family. Never will be, sadly.
This is a terrible inquest that was flawed from the outset. Not surprisingly it has lurched from one bad area to the next.
Cricket Australia has already attempted to mitigate the already minute chances of the same thing happening again. Even a complete ban on bouncers, which would compromise the future of the game, would not entirely eliminate the possibility of a player being fatally struck on the head by a hard ball travelling at great speed.
When Peter Brock was killed instantly 10 years ago common sense and respect for the deceased and his family dictated the footage available of the car crashing into a tree was never shown or released. Nor was there a pointless witch hunt conducted in the quest to ascertain whether all reasonable safety measures were adhered to. It was clear it was a racing accident from which there was no blame to be apportioned or significant lessons to be learned.
As there is no need to engage in a costly plebiscite on gay marriage that will impact on the mental health of those inherently affected by the discourse. In some instances an assembly of intelligent humans should be capable of arriving at a just conclusion.
Pity they didn’t do so here.