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Sean Abbott recalls day Phillip Hughes hit

Sean Abbott: "Nothing stands out to me as a change that should be made to cricket, except for maybe some more protective equipment and training on what to do if someone gets hit." Getty Images

Sean Abbott does not want to see the laws of cricket changed to eradicate the use of bouncers because "there will always be risks in the game", the inquest into the death of Phillip Hughes has heard.

The third day of the inquest on Wednesday saw the release of Abbott's statement. It described the events of November 25, 2014 from his perspective as the unfortunate man to bowl the ball that tragically struck Hughes in the side of the neck, causing the arterial injury that led to his death in St Vincent's Hospital two days later.

Abbott has not been required to appear in the witness stand at the inquest, and in his statement he outlined how he does not wish to see the game irrevocably changed as a result of this most awful of events.

"I know there is a suggestion that the laws of the game be changed so that bouncers should not be bowled," Abbott wrote, "but the same cricket ball will be hit and flying around whether bouncers are bowled or not. There will always be risks in the game.

"Nothing stands out to me as a change that should be made to cricket, except for maybe some more protective equipment and training on what to do if someone gets hit."

Abbott's recollections of the moment Hughes was struck focused on how the batsman had been through his shot before the ball arrived. "I think Phillip was a bit early through the shot," he wrote. "If a batsman is early through the shot, it makes me think that the ball is slower than they had anticipated.

"I don't remember the ball being fast or slow. Maybe the wicket was a little bit slower that day. That's the type of wicket at the SCG. After Phillip was struck, I saw him start to sway and I ran to the other end of the pitch and I held the right side of his head with my left hand.

"I remained on the field until after Phillip was placed on the medicab and then returned to the change room.

"Once in the change room I felt confused and upset, I had a headache, people kept coming up to me but I cannot remember what they said.

"It was all a bit of a blur and I felt like I was in a bit of a daze. I felt super tired. These feelings stayed with me for the next few days."

Much of the inquest has probed the tactics employed by NSW that day. However Abbott echoed the words of his teammates Brad Haddin, Doug Bollinger and David Warner, plus Hughes' batting partner Tom Cooper, that it had not been anything out of the usual for a Sheffield Shield match against a set batsman.

"I do not recall anything unusual about the day prior to the incident when Phillip was struck and I do not recall anything unusual about the bowling that day or in the lead-up to the incident," Abbott wrote. "I do not recall any particular instructions being given to the NSW team at lunchtime on that day, or any discussion about a specific plan for the period after lunch, although there would have been a team chat.

"I cannot recall anything that suggested that either Phillip or Tom were uncomfortable before the incident and I cannot recall anything that indicated that any bowling tactics were making inroads on them. I felt the game that day was being played within the laws and spirit of cricket."

Equally, Abbott had no recollection of any sledging between players beyond what he called "competitive chat". "I do not recall hearing or seeing any backchat or chatting with the batsmen and I personally don't recall talking to Phillip or Tom.

"I cannot say that backchat is common, however, it is common for bowlers to talk to batsmen in the sense of having a competitive chat. For example, bowlers can let batsmen know that there are no fielders in a particular area and that they should hit the ball there.

"However, I cannot recall any sledging that day, nor do I recall any complaints being made about sledging."

Abbott wrote too of his admiration for Hughes as a cricketer. The pair had made their Twenty20 international debuts for Australia together in Dubai earlier in 2014. "I always looked up to Phillip. He was a tough competitor," Abbott wrote. "I always knew that I would have to work hard to get him out. I don't think I had ever got him out."

Other statements, by Haddin, Warner and Cooper, were also released on Wednesday. The inquest continues until Friday.