New Delhi: Phillip Hughes' sad demise barely a week before the first India and Australia Test has put a question mark over the series opener and batting great Sunil Gavaskar feels the onus now is on the cricket boards of the two nations to decide whether to call off the match or not.
Sunil Gavaskar. Pic/AFP
Gavaskar feels the cricketers of both the teams will not be in the perfect frame of mind going into the match after Hughes' death. "That's a tough one. The first Test is almost a week away but I am sure nobody would be in a mood to play. Nobody would be in the right frame of mind," the former India skipper said.
"The New South Wales-South Australia match was called off immediately after Hughes was taken off the field. So, I guess it's something the boards will have to look at (whether to abandon the match or not)," Gavaskar said.
25-year-old Hughes, who was in contention for a Test recall in the upcoming series against India, died at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, where he was battling for life after being hit on the head by a bouncer from Sean Abbott during a domestic match between New South Wales and South Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
Like others, Gavaskar also reacted with sadness at Hughes' early demise. "The news is one of profound sadness because this is something that nobody wants to hear about any sportsperson, leave aside a cricketer and that to happened at a time when there are protective equipment available.
It is a freak accident that happened and my condolences are with Hughes' family and the Australian cricketing fraternity as well," Gavaskar told NDTV. "Quite clearly the ball hit an unprotected part, it hit an artery and it resulted in bleeding inside the brain and that led to his death. It is completely a freakish accident, it generally doesn't happen."
'Tough for Abbott'
Gavaskar also had words of sympathy for the bowler Sean Abbott, whose bouncer proved to be lethal for Hughes. "Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt on the field. He (Abbott) must be devastated. It is tough for him.
I believe Cricket Australia is doing the right thing by not just giving him counselling but the entire fielding team because they were very close to the action," he said.