Adelaide: Touched by India's support in the aftermath of Phillip Hughes' death, Cricket Australia Director and former pacer Michael Kasprowicz has praised the visitors for being considerate in accepting the changed series schedule following the tragedy.
Hughes' death, after being hit by a bouncer during a domestic game last week, resulted in the opening Test between India and Australia being rescheduled from December 4 (Brisbane) to December 9 (Adelaide).
The Indians accepted the changes without any fuss. The side's stand-in skipper Virat Kohli, Team Director Ravi Shastri and coach Duncan Fletcher attended Hughes' funeral in Macksville and even walked with the funeral procession.
"I spoke with Ravi Shastri on the walk and India have been so accommodating to be able to move and adjust for us as our guests and we are grateful for their understanding," Kasprowicz was quoted as saying by 'The Sydney Morning Herald'.
"They are here to play cricket and prepare for the World Cup so we have to appreciate that," he added. The mutual understanding in the face of the tragedy is in sharp contrast to the bitterness that the two teams shared during the 'Monkeygate Scandal' of 2008 when India were on the verge of boycotting the tour after Harbhajan Singh was banned for allegedly racially abusing Andrew Symonds -- a charge which was dropped on review.
Kasprowicz said the Australian cricketers can also "turn the page" by playing the opening Test even though emotional stress could affect quite a few of them. "All the stakeholders in the game have been able to come up with a resolution about the scheduling in the game and agree in getting back on playing cricket," Kasprowicz said. "It has shown how strong internationally the impact this will have."
Kasprowicz said coach Darren Lehmann is absolutely right is stressing that the home team can pay a fitting tribute to Hughes by turning up full strength. "Darren has said it is up to the players if they want to play. It is a positive thing for the Australian team to be playing, our domestic competition to be in it the same day (Tuesday). It is a wonderful gesture by the Australians to play," said Kasprowicz.