Chappell: Good for players to get back on the field


Former Australia player Ian Chappell feels it would be best for the first Test against India to go ahead next week, to get the Australia players' minds off the passing of batsman Phillip Hughes.

The 25-year-old died on Thursday after being struck on the neck by a bouncer two days prior, and the Test players are gathered in Sydney to mourn together. There is doubt over whether the Test in Brisbane will go ahead.

While Hughes' family is said to be keen for the game to go ahead, Cricket Australia have stated that they've not discussed it with the players yet, and that they'll take their cue from the Test squad.

Chappell said it would be beneficial for them to take the field: "In a strange way I think it'll be best for the players if they play the first Test.

"They'll have to go to the practice nets, obviously, and when they're in the practice nets, when they're out on the field playing in the match, at least they'll be concentrating on what they've got to do, how the cricket match is going.

"Because they know that every know that every moment they're off the field, whether they're in the hotel, whether they're out or whether they're in the dressing room, they'll be thinking of only one thing and that'll be Phillip Hughes.

"And so I think to get their mind off of that and to realise that as hard as it might seem, life has to go on, I think that's the best way. They're cricketers.

"Playing cricket is probably the best way for them to get back into that frame of mind that life has to go on."

Chappell also felt that fast bowlers would be wary of bowling bouncers initially, but that they would 'get back into the swing of it' soon enough, and go at full tilt.

He added: "I'm sure the first bowler who bowls a bouncer, it won't be the normal intent there. They'll be bowling it thinking I've got to bowl a bouncer, but I hope like hell it doesn't get up very high, I hope like hell it doesn't hit someone. And after a couple, they'll sort of get back into the swing of it.

"Batsmen – it's probably a bit easier for the batsmen, strange as that may seem. Because they're not going to be thinking about getting hit, they're just going to be thinking about how they normally play a bouncer, whether they try to hook it or whether they avoid it, whatever they do, that's what will be on their minds.

"It's probably going to be tougher for the bowlers in a strange way than it will be for the batsmen."