Phillip Hughes’ sad demise barely a week before the first India and Australia Test has put a question mark over the series opener and batting great Sunil Gavaskar feels the onus now is on the cricket boards of the two nations to decide whether to call off the match or not.
Gavaskar feels the cricketers of both the teams will not be in the perfect frame of mind going into the match after Hughes’ death.
“That’s a tough one. The first Test is almost a week away but I am sure nobody would be in a mood to play. Nobody would be in the right frame of mind,” the former India skipper said.
“The New South Wales-South Australia match was called off immediately after Hughes was taken off the field. So, I guess it’s something the boards will have to look at (whether to abandon the match or not),” Gavaskar said.
Like others, Gavaskar also reacted with sadness at Hughes’ early demise.
“The news is one of profound sadness because this is something that nobody wants to hear about any sportsperson, leave aside a cricketer and that to happened at a time when there are protective equipment available. It is a freak accident that happened and my condolences are with Hughes’ family and the Australian cricketing fraternity as well,” Gavaskar said in an interview.
“Quite clearly the ball hit an unprotected part, it hit an artery and it resulted in bleeding inside the brain and that led to his death. It is completely a freakish accident, it generally doesn’t happen.”
Sympathises for Abbott Gavaskar also had words of sympathy for the bowler Sean Abbott, whose bouncer proved to be lethal for Hughes.
“Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt on the field. He (Abbott) must be devastated. It is tough for him. I believe Cricket Australia is doing the right thing by not just giving him counselling but the entire fielding team because they were very close to the action,” he said.
The batting legend refused to blame helmet manufacturers for such a freak accident.
“I don’t think you can blame the helmet manufacturers because people have been hit on the helmet (in the past) and nothing happened to them. But like everything, I am sure there would be lot of R&D done by the helmet manufacturers to make sure that they have product that can avoid such incidents,” said Gavaskar.
In his playing days there was very little protective gears available for cricketers but despite that Gavaskar went on to amass a lot of runs and become one of the greatest batsmen the game has ever produced.
Asked whether he feared batting without a helmet during his playing days, Gavaskar replied: “You never think cricket is a dangerous game because if you think that way then you are out in the pavilion.
“If I ever thought about physical injury then there was no way I would been out there playing fast bowling. I never felt danger. For me it was a game that I enjoyed playing. But I knew there would be a bit of physical pain.”