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Border wants first Test to be pushed back by three days


Melbourne, Nov 29 (PTI) Former captain Allan Border feels next week’s first Test between Indian and Australia should be pushed back by three days so that the players can take part in the funeral of Phillip Hughes.

Border said the first Test, which is scheduled to begin on December 4, should go on but it can start on December 8. “The game must go on but I do have some misgivings about the timing of the first Test against India, starting next Thursday. With Phillip’s funeral likely to be held next week, I think the Gabba Test should be pushed back three days to give players more time to grieve,” Border said. “The players will all want to go to the funeral to send off their mate. I don’t think they can be in the right frame of mind for a Test match at such a time,” he wrote in his column appeared on ‘Herald Sun’.

Border said that if the Gabba Test was pushed back to start next Sunday, “it would give everyone a chance to deal with things without being rushed”. “The second Test in Adelaide could then be pushed back three days, and none of this would impact on the Boxing Day or New Year’s Tests,” the former captain said. Hughes died in a Sydney hospital on Thursday after being hit by a bouncer bowled by Sean Abbott in a domestic Sheffield Shield match on Tuesday and that plunged Australia as well as the whole world into grief.

Four Test players — David Warner, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and Nathan Lyon — were on the field when Hughes was struck and they have already said that they are not in perfect state of mind to return to competitive cricket, which put the opening Test in doubt.

Border said he felt for Abbott who must be feeling terrible after the tragic incident. “As tough as the first steps will be, I hope Abbott’s NSW teammates can coax him back into the practice nets at some stage. That is where his journey back to cricket will start. From the moment Sean released the ball at the SCG the other day, what happened was out of his hands.

There was nothing he could do. My heart bleeds for him,” said Border, one of the most successful captains in history.

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