Hughes funeral on December 3; Gabba Test delayed
Phillip Hughes will be farewelled in his hometown of Macksville in northern New South Wales on Wednesday, December 3, and the first Test between Australia and India postponed in order to give his former team-mates time to grieve and reflect upon his life.
Cricket Australia announced on Saturday evening that Hughes' funeral will take place at 2pm on Wednesday in the sports hall of Macksville High School, with overflow areas to be set-up for guests to watch the service on the school's two ovals.
The funeral will be broadcast live on television and radio, and additional flights between Sydney and Coffs Harbour - around 45 minutes' drive away from Macksville, have been set up. Adelaide Oval and the SCG will both broadcast the service on their scoreboard screens. CA's chief executive James Sutherland said the responses to Hughes' death at the SCG on Tuesday had been overwhelming.
"We are grateful to the Australian community for the overwhelming show of support it has extended to the Hughes family in recent days," he said. "The offers of assistance for Wednesday's service have been remarkable.
"While we know that people from all around the nation want to pay their respects to Phillip, there will only be limited capacity in Macksville, so the work of our broadcasters will help ensure people around the country can follow the service on TV, radio and online."
As a result of the funeral's scheduling for Wednesday, the first Test has been postponed from its start time of Thursday, December 4, and a date for its commencement is yet to be finalised.
"These are extraordinary circumstances and we simply couldn't or wouldn't expect our players to be emotionally ready to start a Test match the day after farewelling one of their teammates," Sutherland said. "Their welfare is our absolute priority. They are grieving and to expect that they could play a high-pressured, five-day Test match the following day is out of the question.
"We appreciate the incredible understanding and support of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. It has been nothing short of outstanding during these difficult times. We fully acknowledge the many groups who want to know when the Test will take place, particularly cricket fans in Queensland, Queensland Cricket and Stadiums Queensland.
"We just ask the cricket community for some patience as we work through a range of scenarios in full consultation with the players, the Indian Board, the ICC and our broadcasters. We hope to resolve all matters in the next few days and will let cricket fans and the game's many important stakeholders know as a priority.
"We know that there are many people who have purchased tickets to the Test match who will be wondering what happens next? Once the situation has been resolved, we will advise them as a priority. Fans should simply hold onto their tickets until further notice."
Austrlaia's players met at the SCG on Friday and were unanimous in their view that Hughes needed to be farewelled and time left for grieving before the cricket could go on. The Australian Cricketers Association Alistair Nicholson echoed this view.
"After consulting with the players, we have communicated to Cricket Australia that the opportunity to farewell their team mate is the priority, and the prospect of them playing the following day is simply too big an ask," he said. "The players are going through a grieving process and they must be afforded the opportunity to do so.
"As anyone can appreciate, this process doesn't run according to a clock or a calendar. This is a unique situation and a unique response is required. We will continue to discuss options with the players and Cricket Australia over the coming days."
The majority of Australia's Test players returned to home ports and their families on Friday and Saturday, and will not be arriving in Brisbane on Sunday as previously scheduled. Arrangements for the Sheffield Shield round due to start on December 5 are yet to be finalised.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig