SYDNEY: Australia skipper Michael Clarke will be one of the pallbearers and will lead tributes at the funeral of his close friend Phillip Hughes on Wednesday, Cricket Australia announced.
HunzaNews Dec 03,2014
As the funeral details were revealed Tuesday, chief executive James Sutherland said it was too early to say which players would be mentally ready to face the hastily rescheduled Tests against India.
The opening clash between the teams was due to start on Thursday at the Gabba in Brisbane but was put off following Hughes death last week, with many fellow players left emotionally shattered.
The funeral in Hughes´ hometown of Macksville on Wednesday will be attended by the Australian Test squad as well as past and present luminaries of the game including Mark Taylor, Sir Richard Hadlee, Brian Lara, Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, Shane Warne, Mike Hussey, Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is also due to attend the service at which Clarke, who was by Hughes´ bedside as he lay stricken in a Sydney hospital, will speak in tribute and join family members and fellow Australia batsman Aaron Finch as a pallbearers.
Hughes died last Thursday from bleeding on the brain, two days after being knocked unconscious by a bouncer in Sydney, throwing the cricketing world into mourning.
Given the funeral on Wednesday, Cricket Australia late Monday amended the Test dates after lengthy talks with the Board of Control for Cricket in India and other stakeholders.
Instead of starting on Friday, December 12 — as the second Adelaide Test was originally scheduled — it will now begin on December 9 and be the opening match of the series.
“There is nothing perfect about what we have come up with here but we appreciate everyone´s support and understanding in these tragic and extraordinary circumstances,” Sutherland said.
The second Test will be played in Brisbane from December 17-21 with the traditional Boxing Day clash in Melbourne remaining unchanged, while the Sydney Test has been pushed back three days and will now start on January 6. (AFP)