Australia’s Test series against India this winter will begin in Adelaide on 9 December, Cricket Australia has confirmed.
The four-match series, which was originally due to start on Thursday in Brisbane, was postponed last week following the death of Australia batsman Phillip Hughes.
Hughes, 25, was killed after being struck on the neck by a bouncer while playing in a domestic Sheffield Shield match for South Australia in Sydney.
Under the new schedule, Brisbane will now host the second Test of the four-match series, starting on 17 December. The game at the Adelaide Oval, Hughes’ home ground, has been brought forward three days from 12 December to become the first Test.
The traditional Boxing Day Test at Melbourne remains unchanged but the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground has been put back three days to 6 January.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland revealed there had been much to consider in making rearrangements and thanked all parties for their understanding in difficult circumstances.
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Sutherland said in a statement: “It’s very clear that playing a Test right now is just too soon and we are reacting accordingly.
“We appreciate the understanding of cricket fans around the country, particularly those in Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney during these highly difficult times.
“We acknowledge the difficulties this presents within the cricket communities that make these Test matches such terrific occasions.
“We are grateful to State Cricket Associations and venues in those cities for their understanding and willingness to accommodate such last-minute changes.
“A concern with these changes has been creating congestion within the cricket calendar by holding four Test matches in 33 days. We knew that if we started any later than December 9, that congestion would only get worse.
“We looked at possibly holding the Brisbane Test in the new year following Sydney but we felt that would only compromise the tri-series against England and India, which is important preparation for our ICC Cricket World Cup campaign.
“There will be knock-on effects from these decisions which people will obviously want answers to.
“We will work through them as quickly as we can, but just ask for patience given these unprecedented circumstances.”
The funeral of Hughes will take place on Wednesday at Macksville High School, which he attended. It will be broadcast live in Australia and on big screens at the Adelaide Oval and SCG.
Hughes first broke into the first-class game with SCG-based New South Wales before later moving to South Australia.
He also had spells with Middlesex, Hampshire and Worcestershire.
Meanwhile, Taijul Islam became the first bowler to take a hat-trick on his one-day international debut as Bangladesh completed a 5-0 series whitewash against Zimbabwe at Mirpur.
Taijul claimed figures of four for 11 in a spectacular collapse as the tourists went from 95 for one to 128 all out.
The reply was not all plain sailing for Bangladesh as they lost wickets regularly but a half-century from Mahmudullah saw them home by five wickets.
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