First Test against India will be healing process for Australia

Former Australia players feel next week's Test series against India will allow grieving players to move on after Phillip Hughes' death

Sydney: As the cricketing world flocked to Macksville to farewell Phillip Hughes, Mark Taylor reflected on the impact his death has had around the globe. "I think we forget sometimes how big this game is," the ex-Australian skipper and opening batsman Taylor told Channel Nine.

Phillip Hughes' mother Virginia is consoled by daughter Megan (left) and a relative. Pics/Getty Images
Phillip Hughes' mother Virginia is consoled by daughter Megan (left) and a relative. Pics/Getty Images 

"I've just shared a car from Coffs Harbour airport, a 45-minute drive, with Brian Lara. Richard Hadlee was on the plane representing New Zealand. Dave Richardson (ICC general manager) has flown in from Dubai overnight...

"That just shows you how passionate the cricket community is and how much they felt the loss." Hughes was farewelled by 5,000 mourners at a sombre service in his hometown of Macksville, 471kms north of Sydney

Taylor said the first game of the series against India next week will be a chance to celebrate Hughes' life.

He told reporters: "I think until they (the Aussies) start playing cricket again, they won't actually move on. So I think it will be part of the healing process when they do play in Adelaide next Tuesday."

Another former Australian Test opening batsman and Channel Nine commentator, Michael Slater spoke of the effect Hughes' death has had on young cricketers. "Trying to explain it to the under-19 team I coach on the weekend was very testing," he told the network.

'Hughes was a hero'
He said the young cricketers wore armbands, and 408 on their arms when they took the field. "Phillip Hughes was a hero to them and they will never forget this last week."

Phillip Hughes father, Gregory (right) hugs a mourner yesterday
Phillip Hughes father, Gregory (right) hugs a mourner yesterday 

Test great Shane Warne said when Hughes played he epitomised Australian cricket. "I think Phil would have wanted the cricket to go on. I think it's time for the players now to get out there and play some cricket," he told Channel Nine.

"Some people are going to be still a little bit more down in the dumps than others, some will be able to use it as inspiration. But, I'm sure getting out there and playing cricket as soon as possible is the right thing to do."

Former Test batsman Mike Hussey said Hughes was "a great little bloke infectious around the dressing room, and he's going to be sorely missed."

Ex-Test cricketer and Fox Sports host Brendan Julian lauded the way the sporting community has come together. "It was great to see the Indian cricketers there as well, led by their captain Virat Kohli."

Supportive Clarke
Before the service, Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland described skipper Michael Clarke as a "rock" for the Hughes family.

"Being so close to Phillip and his family, he's had more than his own emotions to deal with and I saw that first-hand in hospital last week and I've seen it since.

"He's been a rock for the family as well, and I can only look at him with great admiration."

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