First Test should go ahead, say former Australian skippers
Former skippers Ian Chappell and Mark Taylor feel next week's first Test between India and Australia in Brisbane should go ahead as it would help the cricketers and the fans to come out and share the mourning of the loss of Phillip Hughes.
Sydney: Former skippers Ian Chappell and Mark Taylor feel next week's first Test between India and Australia in Brisbane should go ahead as it would help the cricketers and the fans to come out and share the mourning of the loss of Phillip Hughes.
The cricket world was left devastated yesterday after Hughes succumbed to his injuries sustained during a Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Tuesday.
Taylor feels it will be difficult for the players to deal with the massive loss but cricket is probably the best medicine to heal the pain.
"We also need to talk to the players who were there on Tuesday at the game. It must be extremely tough for them," he told the Nine Network's Today program.
"Ideally, it would be great for the Test match to go ahead so people could come out and share the mourning of the loss of Phillip Hughes, I suppose in a way it is a tribute to Phil Hughes to play a Test match, so there's a lot to be discussed over the next probably three or four days before a decision will probably be made next week.
"It's never an easy situation but ... the game will go on at some stage."
Chappell, too, echoed Taylor's views, saying going back to the game is the best way to deal with the loss.
"In a strange way I think it'll be best for the players if they play the first Test," Chappell said.
"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 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 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," he said.
In the wake of this tragic incident, the Indian cricket team's second warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide was called off yesterday and there is a lot of uncertainty over whether the first Test will go on December 4.
Four of those named in the Australian Test squad -- David Warner, Brad Haddin, Shane Watson and Nathan Lyon -- were present on the field when Hughes collapsed after being hit in the neck by a bouncer from Sean Abbott.
It will be very difficult for these New South Wales players who were on the field when Hughes was struck at the SCG on Tuesday.
Chappell said: "I'm sure the first bowler who bowls a bouncer, it won't be the normal intent there. They'll be 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," he said.
Another former Australian captain Steve Waugh feels the players will not be in the right frame of mind going into the match after Hughes' death and the board has to talk to the cricketers.
"Talking to some of the players yesterday, they are certainly not in a state of mind to play a Test match tomorrow or the day after," he told Macquarie Radio Network.
"Right now, there have got to be serious doubts for at least four or five players walking onto the field with a clear head and playing 100 per cent. Cricket Australia's definitely got to talk to the players.
"Down the track, they'll definitely want to get back there and represent Australia and do Phil Hughes proud when they go out in the middle," Waugh said.
Batting great Sunil Gavaskar had said yesterday that the onus will be the cricket boards of the two nations to decide whether to call off the match or not.