Alex Kountouris, a Cypriot Australian physiotherapist from Melbourne, was recruited as masseur and physiotherapist for the Sri Lankan cricket team in1995 or so by new coach Dav Whatmore. He rendered yeoman service and was a vital cog in the management programme that enabled Sri Lanka’s cricketers to win the World Cup in 1996. The island repaid him handsomely albeit involuntarily: he married a lass from that land.
He has since moved to higher levels back home in Australia: he became the cricket team’s physiotherapist in 2006. It is in this capacity and because of his experience that he was called as a witness in the coroner’s inquiry in Sydney into the tragic death of Philip Hughes by bouncer-blow on 25th November 2014. As far as I know, he was not present on the ground that day so his testimony could not provide direct evidence. His presence suggests to me in surmise that he had been introduced to the inquest by Cricket Australia in defence of “cricketing interests” on the back of the long experience in cricketing injuries he could bring into the frame of reference. And indeed that wealth of experience told us via the inquiry that there had been another rare instance of a vertebral arterial blow from a cricket ball leading to haemorrhage – an instance in Melbourne (see below). Important that: the type of blow by ball that Phil Hughes received was very, very rare rare but not impossible.
Whatever the gravitas attached to the testimony from Kountouris, it turned out as ordeal for Kountouris himself. Hughes’ father muttered “lying’ loudly when Kountouris indicated that he “had not known that the family were worried the cricketer had been subjected to bowling tactics that are “inconsistent” with the spirit of cricket.”
Hughes Senior may have been a tad unfair to Kountouris on this issue. Alex may well have been in the dark on this point. But Cricket Australia’s officials must have had their ear to the ground and presented Kountouris as one ‘bund’ in their defensive wall around “cricketing interests.” Yes, a conjecture on my part. But note the sarcasm embodied by the invested commas around the phrase “cricketing interests.”
So, to one news report on the Kontouris evidence and ordeal we can proceed……
*** **** *****
NEWS ITEM in The ADVERTISER, 13 October 2016: “Phillip Hughes inquest enters day four as more witnesses prepare to take the stand in Sydney”
LIVE Updated 29 mins ago
Editor on Duty; Amy Dale & Ben horne
THE father of late cricketer Phillip Hughes has rejected the statement of Cricket Australia’s physio — muttering “lying” — as the team official told an inquiry he was unaware of any concerns about the nature of the play leading up to the death of the 25-year-old. Alex Kountouris told the inquiry into Hughes’ death he had not known that the family were worried the cricketer had been subjected to bowling tactics that are “inconsistent” with the spirit of cricket.
But that statement has been met with anger from the Hughes family. Father Greg Hughes could be heard saying “lying” as the evidence was read.
Mr Kountouris also said Hughes’ death, from a vertebral artery dissection that led to a brain haemorrhage, was one of just two cases he had ever seen of someone dying from an injury of that nature. The other case happened in Melbourne. Mr Kountouris said he had not interviewed umpires about the Sheffield Shield match on November 25, 2014 in preparing this report. “You weren’t concerned in the focus of the report, of the play that lead up to the incident,” counsel assisting Kristina Stern SC asked. “No,” he said, agreeing it was “A report detailing emergency and medical response to the incident.”
Earlier, the Hughes family started to cry as senior staff member from NSW Ambulance expressed his condolences. Phillip’s father Greg Hughes has his arm around his daughter Megan, the batsman’s sister, and his mother Virginia Hughes has also been present for every day of the evidence.
THE CORONIAL INQUEST plus
· Peter Lalor 2016 “Doug Bollinger on Back foot in Phil Hughes Inquest,” 13 October 2016, https://cricketique.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/doug-bollinger-on-back-foot-in-phil-hughes-inquest/
· Andrew Webster 2016 “The sad divide between the family of Phillip Hughes and the cricketing community,” 14 October 2016, ……………………………….………………………….………. http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/the-sad-divide-between-the-family-of-phillip-hughes-and-the-cricketing-community-20161012-gs14xt.html
· ABC News 2016 “Coroner’s Inquiry into the Death of Phil Hughes: Serious Questions, Tears & Standard Fare,” 11 October 2016, https://cricketique.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/coroners-inquiry-into-the-death-of-phil-hughes-serious-questions-tears-standard-fare/ [From] …. ……. …… ……… ………………….. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-10/inquest-into-cricketer-phillip-hughes’-death-begins/7916974
· AAPNews 2016 “Matthew Wade elbows Bowler Abbott and faces Code of Conduct Charge,” October 2016, https://cricketique.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/matthew-wade-elbows-bowler-abbott-and-faces-code-of-conduct-charge/· Daniel Brettig 2016 “Call for Clarification of bouncer Laws at Inquest into Phil Hughes’ Death,” https://cricketique.wordpress.com/2016/10/14/call-for-clarification-of-bouncer-laws-at-inquest-into-the-phil-hughes-death/
* Roberts 2016 “Against Verbal Intimidation in Cricket: A Voice in A Wasteland,” 12 October 2016, https://cricketique.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/against-verbal-intimidation-in-cricket-a-voice-in-a-wasteland/
* Roberts 2016 “Alex Kontouris faces “Chin Music” at the Coronial Inquest into Phil-Hughes’ Death,” 13 October 2016, https://cricketique.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/alex-kontouris-faces-chin-music-at-the-coronial-inquest-into-phil-hughes-death/
- Roberts 2014 “Australian Patriotism and Sacrificial Christian Symbolism embodied in One Image commemorating Phil Hughes,” 29 November 2016, http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/australian-patriotism-and-sacrificial-christian-symbolism-embodied-in-one-image-commemorating-phil-hughes/
- Roberts 2003“Legitimising the Bullyboys on the Cricket Field,”cricket.dilmahtea.com, 16 Dec 2004.
- Roberts 2003 “Verbal Assault on the cricket field: ICC piss-weak, TV commentators insouciant,” 27 November 2003.https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/verbal-assault-on-the-cricket-field-icc-piss-weak-tv-commentators-insouciant/
- Roberts 2007 “Vilification, Zero Tolerance and Double Standards in Cricket,” cricket.dilmahtea.com, 7 November 2007.
- Roberts 2000c “Against verbal intimidation in cricket,” com, http://www.ozlanka.com/commentary/intimidation.htm