Australia-India Tests Rescheduled After Hughes Death

Australia’s Test matches against India have been rescheduled after 25-year-old cricketer Phillip Hughes died from head injuries sustained while playing.

The first five-day Test was due to start in Brisbane Dec.

4. The series will now start Dec. 9 at Adelaide Oval, Cricket Australia said in a statement on its website. Brisbane will host the second Test starting Dec. 17. The third Test in Melbourne retains its traditional Dec. 26 start date, while the fourth and final Test in Sydney has been pushed back to Jan. 6 to give players extra recovery time.

Hughes’s funeral will take place tomorrow in his hometown of Macksville in New South Wales state. Hughes died Nov. 27 at Sydney’s St. Vincent’s Hospital two days after being struck by a ball.

“Nobody should underestimate just what these players are going through right now,” Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said in the e-mailed statement. “These are difficult days and we need to support them in dealing with their grief. It’s very clear that playing a Test right now is just too soon and we are reacting accordingly.”

Flags at grounds hosting professional and amateur cricket matches from Melbourne to London flew at half-mast this weekend. Hughes had been playing for South Australia in an interstate game against New South Wales when a delivery from fast bowler Sean Abbott, 22, struck him on the neck and split an artery that caused bleeding in his brain.

Qantas Airways Ltd. has scheduled additional flights to assist people wishing to attend the funeral, according to Cricket Australia. The airline will also allow customers to rebook their tickets without a fee due to the changes in the cricket schedule.

(Corrects original location for first Test in second paragraph.)
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