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Gavaskar feels India, Aus players not in right frame of mind for first Test

Last updated on: November 27, 2014 16:17 IST

Phillip Hughes's sad demise barely a week before the first India and Australia Test has put a question mark over the series opener.

Batting great Sunil Gavaskar feels the onus is on the cricket boards of the two countries to decide whether to call off the match or not.

- Obituary: Phil Hughes, a kid from the bush who made it to the top

He is of the view that cricketers of both the teams will not be in the perfect frame of mind going into the match following the sudden death of Hughes.

Virat Kohli"That's a tough one. The first Test is almost a week away, but I am sure nobody would be in a mood to play. Nobody would be in the right frame of mind," the former India skipper said.

"The New South Wales-South Australia match was called off immediately after Hughes was taken off the field. So, I guess, it's something the boards will have to look at (whether to abandon the match or not)," Gavaskar said.

Hughes, 25, who was in contention for a Test recall in the upcoming series against India, died at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, where he was battling for life after being hit on the head by a bouncer from Sean Abbot during a domestic match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

Like others, Gavaskar also reacted with sadness at Hughes's sudden demise.

"The news is one of profound sadness because this is something that nobody wants to hear about any sportsperson, leave aside a cricketer and that to happen at a time when there are protective equipment available. It is a freak accident that happened and my condolences are with Hughes's family and the Australian cricketing fraternity as well," Gavaskar told NDTV.

"Quite clearly the ball hit an unprotected part, it hit an artery and it resulted in bleeding inside the brain and that led to his death. It is completely a freakish accident, it generally doesn't happen."

Gavaskar also had words of sympathy for the bowler, Sean Abott, whose bouncer proved to be lethal for Hughes.

"Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt on the field. He (Abott) must be devastated. It is tough for him. I believe Cricket Australia is doing the right thing by not just giving him counselling but the entire fielding team because they were very close to the action," he said.

The batting legend refused to blame helmet manufacturers for such a freak accident.

"I don't think you can blame the helmet manufacturers because people have been hit on the helmet (in the past) and nothing happened to them. But, like everything, I am sure there would be lot of R and D (Research and Development) done by the helmet manufacturers to make sure that they have a product that can avoid such incidents," said Gavaskar.

In his playing days there was very little protective gear available for cricketers. Despite that Gavaskar went on to amass a lot of runs and become one of the greatest batsmen the game has ever produced.

Asked whether he feared batting without a helmet during his playing days, Gavaskar replied: "You never think cricket is a dangerous game because if you think that way then you are out in the pavilion.

"If I ever thought about physical injury then there was no way I would been out there playing fast bowling. I never felt danger. For me it was a game that I enjoyed playing. But I knew there would be a bit of physical pain."

Image: Virat Kohli

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