Kohli, Shastri, Fletcher to Attend Philip Hughes' Funeral

Chetan Narula/Adelaide
Kohli, Shastri, Fletcher to Attend Philip Hughes' Funeral

Stand-in skipper of the Indian team Virat Kohli will attend the funeral of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes on Wednesday.

He will be joined by team director Ravi Shastri, coach Duncan Fletcher and team manager Arshad Ayub.

Three or four other Indian players are expected to join them and a final decision will be made once the team reaches Brisbane tomorrow.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, December 3, in Hughes' hometown of Macksville.

The left-handed batsman died on Thursday after being hit by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield game two days prior, sparking an outburst of emotion throughout the country.

India's two-day tour match against Cricket Australia Invitational XI at Adelaide Oval this past weekend was cancelled as a result.

The team continued to stay over in the city till today holding regular practice sessions in preparation for the Test series.

Today would have been the late cricketer's 26th birthday and as such the solemn mood continued to be observed by one and all.

Australian skipper Michael Clarke wrote a special tribute to his former team-mate.

Cricket Australia too edited the score-card from that Sheffield Shield game between New South Wales and South Australia, changing Hughes' status from 'retired hurt' to '63 not out'.

The Australian governing body has been full of praise for the understanding and patience the BCCI and the visiting team have shown in this sad circumstance.

Attending the funeral is another step for the Indian contingent to show solidarity to their hosts at such tragic time.

They had earlier practised away from the Adelaide Oval on Friday as a mark of respect, holding a closed net session, wearing black arm-bands.

On Saturday, before practice, Kohli had 'put out' one of his bats as well as his India cap outside the Adelaide Oval, paying tribute to the late cricketer.

However, the uncertainty over the first Test continues.

It was learnt yesterday that Cricket Australia had first sought a one-day postponement to the Test because their players wouldn't have been ready to play on Thursday.

The Indian team was informed of this and they did not make any changes to its planned departure for Brisbane.

Later yesterday evening, the visiting contingent was also made aware of the possibility of the complete cancellation of the Test match, but subject to playing the game at a later date.

It seemed a proper notion given that there is quite a gap between the second Test at Adelaide that supposedly ends on December 16 and the third Test at Melbourne that is scheduled to begin on December 26, Boxing Day.

But given the festivities around Christmas and the little turnaround time between three consecutive Tests in a packed summer of cricket mean that this might not be a viable option.

And so it has been learnt that Cricket Australia have now sought an additional day's postponement and hope that their players might be fit to play the game from December 6.

This would of course mean a delay in the schedule of the first and second Test by two days each, but the gap between the Adelaide and Melbourne Tests means that this is a comfortable possible scenario.

However no official word has been issued in this regard by Cricket Australia and they continue to maintain that any details about the rescheduling of the first Test will only emerge at a later date.

Even so, as mentioned above, the Indian team will fly out of Adelaide tomorrow in the hope of seeing some action later in the week.

A decision about the first Test will be expected to have been made by the time the Indian team reaches Brisbane.

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