The Indian cricket team’s second warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI here has been called off following the tragic death of Phillip Hughes. The two-day match, which was to begin tomorrow, was India’s last practice fixture before the first Test against Australia, scheduled to start in Brisbane from December 4.
The Australian cricketer died at St. Vincent Hospital in Sydney today, two days after he was struck by a bouncer while batting in a Sheffield Shield game at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Hughes was 25.
Cricket Australia has also cancelled the ongoing round of Sheffield Shield games and the second day of the Sharjah Test between New Zealand and Pakistan was also suspended following the shocking news.
The Indian squad members had just completed the fitness regime of their training session at the Adelaide Oval and were getting ready for the nets when team director Ravi Shastri gathered them in a circle on the turf before breaking the sad news.
Soon after Shastri was done with, the training session was cancelled, and players and staff collected their gear and left the venue immediately. The Indian team offered its condolences to Hughes’ family.
“In this moment of grief, we pray that they are bestowed with divine strength to overcome this unfortunate tragedy,” they said in a statement.
“As fellow cricketers we cherish the memories of playing along with him and deeply respect his contribution to the game of cricket,” the statement added. 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 Abbot during a domestic match between New South Wales and South Australia.