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CA to act on Hughes inquest findings: CEO

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 Rob Forsaith

Cricket Australia plans to implement the recommendations from the Phillip Hughes inquest "as soon as practical" but won't force players to wear neck guards until scientific evidence suggests it is beneficial.

CA boss James Sutherland, speaking after NSW state coroner Michael Barnes released his findings into the death of Hughes, noted his organisation has "a responsibility and a duty to make sure something like this doesn't happen again".

Barnes made a series of recommendations, which Sutherland says CA will review in detail in the coming days then act on.

"We'll be looking to implement the recommendations as soon as practical," Sutherland said in Perth.

"We're open to any suggestion of further improvement."

Barnes recommended CA and helmet manufacturers continue to work on developing a neck guard that is comfortable and provides better protection, with a view to it becoming mandatory, at least in first-class cricket.

Hughes' shock death prompted helmet manufacturer Masuri to introduce the StemGuard, a clip-on attachment made of plastic and foam that provides extra protection.

Many players, headlined by Australia vice-captain David Warner, don't wear the attachment as they find it too restrictive.

"In terms of the scientific evidence that actually supports they make a difference, it's not actually there yet," Sutherland said.

"Once we get to that stage we'll mandate it ... we hope to get to that stage as soon as possible."

Barnes didn't make a formal recommendation regarding sledging but pondered on Friday "why such a beautiful game would need such an ugly underside".

Sutherland suggested sledging "can be in the spirit of the game or it can not be" depending on what is said but didn't feel it was currently out of control to a point that warranted a crackdown

"I've got a view on the spirit of cricket and I don't disagree with what the coroner says in regard to the spirit of cricket," he said.

"On-field banter is something that has always been part of the game but when that banter turns to abuse that crosses the line to something different. That's not in the spirit of the game.

"If it has become a problem, I'd say the umpires are not doing their job ... we don't see a lot of reports for that sort of behaviour."

CA's relationship with Hughes' family became further strained during last month's inquest in Sydney.

Sutherland said his thoughts were with Hughes' parents Greg and Virginia, and siblings Jason and Megan.

"They more than anyone have had to live with the sad reality that Phillip is longer with them," he said.

"None of us can in anyway underestimate the challenges they've got in dealing with the reality that Phillip's no longer with us."

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