Phillip Hughes inquest: Teammate addresses sledge claim

Australia's Phil Hughes after the win against New Zealand on the fifth day of the first International cricket test, Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand, Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Credit:NZPA
Australia's Phil Hughes after the win against New Zealand on the fifth day of the first International cricket test, Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand, Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Credit:NZPA

The brother of Phillip Hughes has shaken his head during evidence from the late cricketer's batting partner and former housemate Tom Cooper at an inquest in Sydney.

The inquest has heard the Hughes family is concerned the South Australian batsman was subjected to ungentlemanly bowling and sledging before being fatally struck by a ball at the SCG in November 2014.

Cooper, who was the non-striker when Hughes was hit in the side of the neck during a Sheffield Shield match, said he was confident NSW paceman Doug Bollinger didn't say something like "I'm going to kill you" during the match.

Cooper also says he can't remember telling the 25-year-old's brother Jason Hughes about Bollinger's alleged comments after the death.

"Mr Cooper, I suggest to you, you told Jason these words and you are now denying them," barrister for the Hughes family, Greg Melick SC said at Sydney's Downing Centre on Tuesday.

"No," Cooper replied.

Jason Hughes shook his head at times during Cooper's evidence.

The inquest heard Cooper did not want to view any footage from the day of play unless absolutely necessary for forensic purposes.

"Unfortunately, yes," he said when asked whether he still had memories of the incident.

Cooper said the NSW team seemed to be bowling short at Hughes after lunch in an attempt to slow the run rate.

In a statement read to the court, Cooper said he didn't think there was anything inappropriate about his opponents' tactics, and that bowling short at a batsman who had been at the crease for some time was common.

Umpire Ash Barrow said he was content Sean Abbott's penultimate over to Hughes, which featured a short-pitched salvo, was legal and within the spirit of the game.

"That's standard bowling," Barrow said after footage of the over was shown.

Abbott struck Hughes in his following over.

Both Barrow and the other on-field umpire Michael Graham-Smith said they did not have any first-aid training.

State coroner Michael Barnes will examine the nature of play, the response to Hughes' injury and whether different safety equipment should be recommended.

In her opening, counsel assisting Kristina Stern SC said on Monday the coroner may find that there was little that could have been done to avoid Hughes' death once he was injured.

Australian vice-captain David Warner, who is in South Africa for a one-day series, is expected to give evidence via audio visual link on Tuesday.

The inquest continues.

- AAP

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