Adelaide Oval will host the first Test between Australia and India, with the Gabba Test played second to allow players to attend Phillip Hughes’s funeral.
The first game was initially set to start in Brisbane on Thursday, but CA on Saturday announced an indefinite postponement, with Hughes’ funeral to take place in his hometown of Macksville on Wednesday.
Chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement on Saturday, CA “couldn’t or wouldn’t expect our players to be emotionally ready to start a Test match the day after farewelling one of their team-mates”.
The Adelaide Test, originally set for a December 12 start, will be moved forward to December 9 and become the series opener.
The Gabba clash, traditionally the first Test of Australia’s summer of cricket, will move to December 17.
Earlier on Monday, it was revealed Indian cricketers would remain at their training base in Adelaide, where they are expected to play a practice match this week, until plans for the start of the series were finalised.
India was due to fly to Brisbane on Monday, in preparation for the Gabba Test, but CA announced the side “would remain in Adelaide until details for the first Test have been confirmed”.
Mourners heading to Macksville for Hughes’s funeral
Michael Clarke arrived in Macksville via helicopter on Monday morning as the cricket community descends on the town for Hughes’s funeral.
They will say final farewells alongside Hughes’s heartbroken family and a local community still coming to terms with the 25-year-old’s shock death.
Some 5,000 mourners are expected to attend Hughes’ service at Macksville High School, which starts at 2pm AEDT.
Clarke, a near-constant presence at St Vincent’s Hospital, where Hughes underwent emergency brain surgery on Tuesday after being struck by a bouncer, made a statement on behalf of the national team on Saturday.
South Australia and New South Wales, the two state sides where Hughes plied his trade in Australia and the two teams in action on his final day of cricket, will both flock to Macksville.
Other states will also be well represented at the service, with more than 10 Queensland players set to undertake the five-hour road trip.
Qantas and Virgin Australia have scheduled extra flights, altered timetables and arranged larger planes to help shuttle more people to Coffs Harbour for the funeral.
For those unable to attend, it will be screened on TV and broadcast on radio, including ABC Local Radio, while public viewings will be held at the SCG, WACA, Bellerive Oval and Adelaide Oval.
“His presence will always be felt with our players and supporters and it will be a fitting tribute for thousands of people to pay their respect at the ground he called home for three seasons,” South Australian Cricket Association chief executive Keith Bradshaw said of the Adelaide arrangements.
“The field of play will also be open after the service and members from the public will have an opportunity to leave a tribute for Phillip near the centre wicket.”
Greg Chappell and Simon Katich penned touching tributes on Cricket Australia and AFL club Greater Western Sydney’s website respectively.
“The response from around the world has been staggering. His death has stopped the Australian nation in an unprecedented way. This has been Australia’s Princess Diana moment,” Chappell wrote.
“What we must take from this is the legacy of how Phillip lived his life … he never complained if breaks didn’t go his way.”
Katich noted Hughes was “cheeky, charming, humble, respectful and confident. But most importantly, he had been brought up by his beautiful parents Greg and Virginia to never forget where he came from”.
Hugh Jackman on Monday joined the likes of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak and even Manchester United in taking part in the #putoutyourbats campaign.