ACA responds to announcement of Test reschedule

01 Dec 2014

II (15)

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) have responded to the announcement by Cricket Australia of the revised dates for the upcoming Test Series.

ACA Chief Executive Alistair Nicholson said:

"The revised calendar for the Test Series against India represents a greater opportunity for players to deal appropriately with the traumatic events of the past week and prepare for a return to Test cricket.

"Based on our discussions with the players and with support of health experts, we believed the First Test in Brisbane was still too early for them to return to the field, and that the Adelaide Test presents more time for them to grieve and mentally prepare.

"Players will look to prepare themselves with the dedication and commitment that is a trademark of our Australian Test cricketers. There is no doubt that their return to the field will be enormously challenging, particularly for those who were present on the SCG last week.

"Asking them to take the field virtually straight after they farewell Phillip at his funeral was just too much. The extra days afforded the players are considered a vital part of their recovery process and we're pleased that our representations to Cricket Australia were met with a sympathetic ear.

"We also consulted the Hughes family regarding our preference to delay the return to the international stage, and they were very supportive of the players' need for more time.

"The outpouring of support from the Australian public is truly appreciated by the national team and all Australian Cricketers' Association members.

"We've all witnessed the extent to which this event has rocked people who've never met Phillip to have some concept of how hard it is for those close to him.

"Obviously, one of the key challenges we've spent a great deal of time working through is when players should return to playing. This is infinitely more complex than simply asking 'should they play or not?'

"On one hand, one of their many sentiments has been: 'Phillip loved cricket and playing cricket is a great way to honour him' but we've also had to establish whether as individuals or as a group, they are capable of playing at the level required, for the duration required. The physical and emotional demands of five days of cricket are enormous.

"There is no doubt that the players have been given an incredible boost by the overwhelming amount of affection, sympathy and support they've received from those within and beyond our shores. I can't express how gratefully these have been received. If playing was powered solely on these well wishes, then the situation would have been far more simple.

"Discussions with Cricket Australia on options to a restart date for the Sheffield Shield are also taking place.

"We will continue to work with the players and relevant experts to manage their challenges and ensure they are given every opportunity to do justice to themselves as well as the time they need to grieve and pay tribute to Phillip."

Revised dates for the Commonwealth Bank Test Series

Tue 9 Dec – Sat 13 Dec: Australia v India (Adelaide)
Wed 17 Dec - Sun 21 Dec: Australia v India (Brisbane)
Fri 26 – Tue 30 Dec: Australia v India (Melbourne)
Tue 6 Jan – Sat 10 Jan: Australia v India (Sydney)