Adelaide: The Indian cricket team today held a closed training session at the net facilities of Adelaide Oval, a day after their two-day warm-up game here was scrapped following the tragic death of Phillip Hughes.
Hughes, 25, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Sydney where he was battling for life after being hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott during a domestic match between South Australia and New South Wales on Tuesday.
To honour the Australian batsman, the Indian team did not use the main ground at Adelaide Oval and each and every single member of the visiting contingent sported a black arm-band as a mark of respect for the departed cricketer.
A woman lays flowers as tributes to Australian batsman Phillp Hughes gather at the entrance of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) where the Australian team has gathered following the death of Hughes, in Sydney on Friday. Pic/AFP
South Australia Cricket Association, meanwhile, laid out his cap, jersey and bat at the centre-wicket of the ground in Hughes' memory.
Later the association's CEO Keith Bradshaw held a press conference in which he thanked everyone for the warm wishes received for Hughes and his family in this tough hour.
"I would like to send our love and support for the Hughes family in these troubled times. There really are no words that we can use to express our feelings of hurt and sadness at the moment. We would like to thank everyone who was with us in the support and care of Phillip Hughes," he said.
"Phillip was loved by us all. He was loved by everyone. He was a remarkable talent and a remarkable person. In the short time he was with us here at South Australia, he attended many coaching clinics for our children. He had a real passion for doing that and the children loved him and he will remain a hero in their minds forever," he said.
He also pointed out that Hughes' South Australia team-mates are devastated and shattered. Many of Hughes' international team-mates were involved in that ill-fated South Australia versus New South Wales match and are grieving the loss of their teammate.
Cricket Australia, too, has given their players all the space needed. The first Test of the four-match series against India at Brisbane is scheduled to be held on December 4.
In a press conference on Friday morning held in Sydney, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland pointed out that 'the Test is a million miles away'.
"Everyone wants to know about cricket and when it goes on, and what's happening," he said. "We all love cricket and no one loved cricket more than Phillip. Cricket will go on, and it will go on when we're ready. To be honest, we haven't broached that subject with the players yet."
"We will in time. To be honest, they've got other things on their mind. I know for many people, seven days doesn't seem very far away, next Thursday, but in other ways it's a million miles away. We'll get there when we can," he added.
However, in the afternoon, Bradshaw made it amply clear that the wishes of the Hughes' family will be considered in any decision made by Cricket Australia.
"As of now, all that I have heard is that the Hughes family are keen for the first Test to go ahead. Obviously that is going to be a question for the players and we must be mindful of the players and respect their feelings too in light of this tragedy," he said.
With uncertainty looming over the opening Test, the Indian team will go ahead with their practice at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday and Sunday, before flying to Brisbane on Monday, patiently awaiting further developments in this tragic circumstance.
Cricket Australia officials in Adelaide, who are accompanying the Indian team, have been full of praise for the understanding and concern shown by the travelling contingent at this difficult hour.
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