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Sledging cricket's 'ugly underside': court

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 By Warwick Barr

NSW Coroner Michael Barnes has described sledging in cricket as the sport's "ugly underside" in delivering his findings in the Phillip Hughes inquest.

The issue raised its head during last month's inquest when NSW fast bowler Doug Bollinger was accused of saying words to the effect of "I'm going to kill you" to Hughes or his batting partner Tom Cooper, before the fatal delivery that killed the former Test batsman in 2014.

Mr Barnes told the Glebe Coroner's Court in Sydney on Friday he found it hard to believe the testimony from cricketers who said they didn't hear sledging during the game.

Regardless, Mr Barnes said Hughes' composure or ability to handle high-bouncing balls was not affected even if the threat was made.

"On that basis, no finding is made as to whether the sledging alleged actually occurred," he said.

However Mr Barnes still pointed out his thoughts on the practice.

"However, hopefully, the focus on this unsavoury aspect of the incident may cause those who claim to love the game to reflect upon whether the practice of sledging is worthy of its participants," he said.

"An outsider is left to wonder why such a beautiful game would need such an ugly underside."

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said some sledging could still be in the spirit of the game.

"I think, on the subject of sledging, sledging can be in the spirit of the game and it cannot be - it just depends on your definition of sledging," Mr Sutherland told reporters in Perth where the Australian Test side is playing South Africa.

"I think that certainly on-field banter is something that has always been a part of the game, but when that banter turns to abuse or anything like that, then it crosses the line into something different and that's not in the spirit of the game.

"That's why the code of behaviour for Cricket Australia and international cricket deals with those issues."

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