Australia’s players come first

Australia’s players met on Friday, less than 24 hours after the tragic death of opening batsman Phillip Hughes and the domestic governing body says their care will be the priority for however long they need.

Hughes, who would have turned 26 on Sunday, died in hospital on Thursday two days after being struck on the neck by a Sean Abbott bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

His death has sent shockwaves through cricket and Cricket Australia??understandably wants to avoid rushing into a decision over whether the national??team will be able take to the field in Brisbane next week.

Chief executive James Sutherland said at a media conference: “Cricket will go??on and it will go on when we’re ready.

“We haven’t broached that subject with the players yet, we will in time but to??be honest they’ve got other things on their mind.

“I know for many people seven days doesn’t seem too far away, but in other??ways it’s a million miles away. We’ll get there when we can.

“He (Hughes) would want nothing more than for the game to continue, but as I??said before, the game will continue at Test level, when we’re ready.”

Cricket Australia’s executive general manager of team performance Pat Howard echoed Sutherland’s sentiments as he said:??”We’re not going to talk about the first Test, we know it’s there.

“What we’re focused on is today.

“We’ve brought the whole team in, the whole Australian Test team are here.??Today’s about grieving.

“In regards to anything we do do, we need to make sure the players are in a??position where they can make strong choices and that’s not now, that’s not this??time.

“We’ll do whatever we can, whatever the players need, to deal and cope with??this, we’ll do whatever we can to help and support the Hughes family.

“We’re going to focus on people first rather than the cricket.”