Test will wait after Hughes funeral


Published: Saturday 29th November 2014 by The News Editor

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The funeral of Phillip Hughes will take place on Wednesday with Australia’s Test match against India delayed as a result, Cricket Australia has announced.

The first Test of India’s tour was due to begin on Thursday in Brisbane, but will now be rescheduled.

Hughes, who was 25, died on Thursday from injuries suffered when he was struck by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match, and his funeral will take place in his home town of Macksville, New South Wales.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: “These are extraordinary circumstances and we simply couldn’t or wouldn’t expect our players to be emotionally ready to start a Test match the day after farewelling one of their teammates.

“Their welfare is our absolute priority. They are grieving and to expect that they could play a high-pressured, five-day Test match the following day is out of the question.

“We appreciate the incredible understanding and support of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. It has been nothing short of outstanding during these difficult times.”

Hughes’ funeral will take place in the sports hall of Macksville High School, which he attended. The funeral will be broadcast nationwide in Australia and carried on Cricket Australia’s website, while big screens will show the service at the SCG Trust and Adelaide Oval.

No announcement has yet been made as to when the Brisbane Test might be played, with ticket sales suspended for the time being.

“We fully acknowledge the many groups who want to know when the Test will take place, particularly cricket fans in Queensland, Queensland Cricket and Stadiums Queensland,” Sutherland said.

“We just ask the cricket community for some patience as we work through a range of scenarios in full consultation with the players, the Indian Board, the ICC and our broadcasters.

“We hope to resolve all matters in the next few days and will let cricket fans and the game’s many important stakeholders know as a priority.”

Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive Alastair Nicholson said: “After consulting with the players, we have communicated to Cricket Australia that the opportunity to farewell their team mate is the priority, and the prospect of them playing the following day is simply too big an ask.

“The players are going through a grieving process and they must be afforded the opportunity to do so. As anyone can appreciate, this process doesn’t run according to a clock or a calendar.

“This is a unique situation and a unique response is required. We will continue to discuss options with the players and Cricket Australia over the coming days.”

A meeting will be held early next week to discuss arrangements for the next round of the Sheffield Shield which is due to start on Friday.

Published: Saturday 29th November 2014 by The News Editor

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