Australia players to wear black armbands to mark anniversary of Phillip Hughes’ death

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Hughes died on November 27 two years ago, two days after being struck in the neck by a ball when batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match. Australia’s Test cricketers will on Sunday wear black armbands as a mark of respect for Hughes when they take to Adelaide Oval in the third Test against South Africa. South Australia’s cricketers will also wear black-arm bands on Sunday in their Shield match against Victoria in Melbourne. “We’ll have something planned as a team quietly, but nothing massive,” SA captain Travis Head said. The armbands will be the only public commemoration of the death of Hughes, who died aged 25. The second anniversary of his death comes three weeks after a NSW coroner found the batsman’s death was a “tragic accident”. Coroner Michael Barnes said in his findings the Hughes family’s heartbreak was exacerbated by their belief unfair play had contributed to his death. But he found no one to blame and hoped the family would believe “compelling evidence” that rules were followed. The Hughes family accepted the coroner’s findings.
In a statement issued on their behalf on the day the findings were released, Hughes’ parents Greg and Virginia, brother Jason and sister Megan said they were “deeply hoping that no other family has to go through the pain of losing a loved one on an Australian sporting field”. “As the coroner has noted, Phillip’s death has led to changes that will make cricket safer,” the statement said, adding they “hoped that this would be part of Phillip’s legacy to the game that he loved so dearly”. The coroner recommended Cricket Australia and helmet manufacturers continue to work on developing a neck guard that is comfortable and provides better protection for batsmen, with a view to it becoming mandatory, at least in first-class cricket.

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