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Phillip Hughes' Death: Australia, India first test postponed

SYDNEY: The first Test match between Australia and India, which was due to start on Thursday, has been postponed following the death of batsman Phillip Hughes, Cricket Australia (CA) said Saturday.

CA said players will attend the funeral of Hughes, who died after being hit by a ball in a domestic match earlier this week, on Wednesday and that the Brisbane Test would not start the following day as previously scheduled.

“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,” CA chief executive James Sutherland said.

“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.”

Sutherland said CA appreciated 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,” he said.

Sutherland asked the cricket community for patience as CA works 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,” he said.

Ticket sales for the Brisbane Test have been suspended.

Hughes, 25, died on Thursday after being knocked unconscious by a ball in a domestic Sheffield Shield game in Sydney this week, plunging the cricket world into mourning.

Hughes’s funeral will take place on Wednesday in the 25-year-old’s hometown of Macksville in northern New South Wales, CA said.

“We are grateful to the Australian community for the overwhelming show of support it has extended to the Hughes family in recent days,” Sutherland said.

Australia captain Michael Clarke said earlier Saturday the team were in deep pain at his death. (AFP)

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