Rediff.com  » Cricket » Australia say too early to decide if India Test will be played

Australia say too early to decide if India Test will be played

Last updated on: November 28, 2014 15:40 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Front pages of the Queensland daily newspapers on Friday show headlines surrounding the death of Phillip Hughes

Front pages of Queensland's daily newspapers on Friday show headlines surrounding the death of Phillip Hughes. Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Emotions were still too raw in the wake of the death of Phillip Hughes to make a decision on whether to go ahead with next week's first Test against India, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said on Friday.

Indian cricket officials were being kept closely informed, Sutherland added, and had been "outstanding" in their understanding of the "unique circumstances" surrounding the match, which is scheduled to start in Brisbane next Thursday.

"Cricket will go on and it will go on when we're ready," Sutherland told reporters outside the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

"To be honest, we haven't broached that subject with the players yet. We will in time, but to be honest, they've got other things on their minds.

“I suppose the starting point is they are grieving, and they've lost someone that is incredibly close to them," Sutherland told reporters.

"I think there is enough that we understand about grieving processes to know that it's really important to give people time, and people will respond in different ways to what they're going through. I know for many people, seven days doesn't seem too far away but in other ways it is a million miles away. We will get there when we can."

 Flowers and condolence messages are left outside the Cricket New South Wales offices in Sydney on Friday after the death of cricketer Phil Hughes on Thursday

Flowers and condolence messages are left outside the Cricket New South Wales offices in Sydney on Friday after the death of cricketer Phil Hughes on Thursday. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

Cricket in Australia has come to a standstill in the wake of the death of 25-year-old Hughes on Thursday, two days after he was struck on the head by a short delivery during a domestic Sheffield Shield match at the SCG.

Among the matches cancelled was India's two day tour game in Adelaide, the touring party's last chance to get some match practice before the four-Test series starts at the Gabba in Brisbane.

"We've been in constant contact with the officials from the Indian Cricket Board and I've got to say that their understanding and empathy has been absolutely outstanding," Sutherland added.

"They completely understand the situation and they're doing everything they can to do that will prepare themselves in the best way possible.

"They understand that these are unique and extraordinary circumstances and I guess both teams will have, if a Test match goes ahead, both teams will have a very different preparation."

A woman leaves flowers to pay her respects to Phillip Hughes at the Sydney Cricket Ground members entrance on Friday

A woman leaves flowers to pay her respects to Phillip Hughes at the Sydney Cricket Ground members entrance on Friday. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

Pat Howard, Cricket Australia's team performance manager, said the Australia squad had gathered in Sydney and were receiving the full support of medical and backroom staff.

"We're not going to talk about the first Test. We know it's there," he said.

"What we're focused on today is grieving, dealing with the questions."

Sutherland said the views of Hughes's family would be taken into account when a decision was made on whether to go ahead with the match but suggested that the final word would go to his former team mates.

"I can remember just in the last few hours conversations with Phillip's father telling me just how much he and the family love cricket," he said.

"Phillip loved cricket more than anyone, and he would want nothing more than for the game to continue, but, as I said, the game will continue at Test level when we're ready."

 Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke pauses before delivering a statement, on behalf of the family of deceased teammate Phillip Hughes, at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke pauses before delivering a statement, on behalf of the family of deceased teammate Phillip Hughes, at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Meanwhile former Australia captain Ian Chappell has said that deceased batsman Hughes would have wanted next week's first Test against India to be played.

Chappell also said that playing the Test at the Gabba from December 4 might be the best thing for players mourning Hughes, News.com.au reported.

As fellow players struggle to come to terms with the 25-year-old's death, CA faces a big decision on whether to go ahead with the opening Test of the summer.

Four of Australia's Test squad members, Brad Haddin, David Warner, Shane Watson and Nathan Lyon, were on the field when Hughes was struck, and every member of the 12-man squad is a mate of the 25-year-old batsman.

Flags fly at half mast at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday following the Phil Hughes's death on Thursday 

Flags fly at half mast at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday following the Phil Hughes's death on Thursday. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

Chappell admitted that it would be hard for the Australian players who kept a bedside vigil with Hughes to focus on playing at the Gabba.

But the former batsman and long-time television commentator believed cancelling the Test would not be what the gritty left-hander would have wanted.

Chappell revealed that in a strange way it would be probably the best thing that they go out to train and play in a game, adding that at least while one is on the field or in the nets one would have something else to concentrate on, because every moment one is off the field one is going to be thinking about Hughes and what happened.

Chappell said that it was the right thing to do to cancel the Shield round this week but added that he believes Hughes would want the game to go on.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
AGENCIES

India Tour of South Africa 2021-22