Adelaide, Dec 1: The first India-Australia Test, which was postponed, will now be played from December 9 (Tuesday) in Adelaide while the second and fourth Tests have also been rescheduled.
The first of the four Tests will begin at the Adelaide Oval and not in Brisbane as originally planned. Due to the tragic death of Phil Hughes, the opening Test was delayed from December 4 start in Brisbane.
Now, Adelaide, which was to host the second Test from December 12, will be the venue for the series opener, Cricket Australia (CA) has confirmed on Monday. (Cricketers who died due to on-field injuries)
Brisbane will get to host a Test but, it will be the second of the rubber, from December 17. However, there is no change in the venue and dates for the third Test, which will be played in Melbourne from December 26.
The fourth and final Test in Sydney, to have started on January 3, 2015, has now been pushed back by 3 days to January 6. The Indian team has stayed back in Adelaide following the postponement of the first Test.
Hughes' funeral will take place on December 3. It will be held in his home town of Macksville. India's stand-in captain Virat Kohli, coach Duncan Fletcher, Team's Director Ravi Shastri and manager Arshad Ayub will attend the funeral. Also, few other Indian players are expected to join them.
CA Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said the changed programme was made due to welfare concerns for Australia's players grieving the loss of their Hughes.
"Nobody should underestimate just what these players are going through right now," Sutherland said.
"These are difficult days and we need to support them in dealing with their grief. 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 9 December, 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."
Commenting on the decision to start the series in Adelaide, Sutherland said: "While this wasn't done by design, it is somewhat fitting that the first Test will take place in Adelaide at Phillip's adopted home ground where we hope the match can be a seen as a celebration of his life.
"We are committed to developing a range of tributes that show just how much Phillip was loved by the Australian cricket community."
The revised schedule
- 1st Test (Adelaide) December 9-13
- 2nd Test (Brisbane) December 17-21
- 3rd Test (Melbourne) December 26-30
- 4th Test (Sydney) January 6-10, 2015