CA: We’ve not discussed the India Test yet


Cricket Australia have stated that the first Test against India on 4 December is not a priority right now, and while they would like the game to go ahead, they'll take their cue from the Test players.

Australian, and world, cricket was rocked by the death of batsman Phillip Hughes on Thursday, after he had been struck on the neck by a bouncer on Tuesday and died of complications two days later in Sydney.

CA chief James Sutherland explained that all the players had gathered in Sydney, and were receiving support, and that the subject of the Brisbane Test had not even been mentioned in light of the tragedy.

Sutherland said: "Everyone wants to know about cricket and when it goes on, and what's happening. We all love cricket and no one loved cricket more than Phillip. Cricket will go on, and it will go on when we're ready.
"To be honest, we haven't broached that subject with the players yet. We will in time. To be honest, they've got other things on their mind.
"I know for many people, seven days doesn't seem very far away, next Thursday, but in other ways it's a million miles away. We'll get there when we can."

He added: "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, and Phillip loved cricket more than anyone.

"He would want nothing more than for the game to continue, but as I said before, the game will continue at Test level, when we're ready."

Team performance manager Pat Howard also said they were not thinking about the Test just yet, rather looking to support the players who had gathered from around the country, including the entire Test squad.

Howard said: "We're not going to talk about the first Test. We know it's there. What we're focused on is today. We've brought the whole team in. The Australian Test team [is] here. Today is about grieving, about dealing with the questions.

"We need to make sure the players are in the position where they can make strong choices, and that's not now. Any choices [will be made] with the Hughes family and where they are and involving them, and that's obviously not now either.

"We'll do whatever we can, whatever the players need to deal and cope with this. We'll do whatever we can to help and support the Hughes family. We're going to focus on people first rather than the cricket."

When asked how the India management had reacted, considering this would be the fourth Test in a row they've been scheduled to play that would not go ahead, Sutherland said they had been nothing but supportive.

He said, referring also to the cancelled tour match: "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.

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

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