Mourning continues as first Test postponed

THE number 26 has been celebrated all around the country and the world, with yesterday marking what would have been Phillip Hughes's birthday.

Twenty-six was also the amount of first-class centuries the supremely-talented batsman from Macksville scored, as well as the number of Tests he played in his beloved baggy green cap.

Players and fans from all walks of life continued to mourn the little man's tragic passing after being hit by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield game last week.

The first Test against India - due to start at the Gabba on Thursday - has been postponed, with Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland asking for patience as he works through a number of different scenarios with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Ticket sales for the first Test have been suspended, with the funeral for Hughes (pictured) to take place in Macksville on Wednesday.

Australian captain Michael Clarke, a constant source of strength for the Hughes family since his passing last Thursday, wrote a heartfelt tribute on Twitter.

"Happy bday bro. Will love you forever. It has been the hardest few days of my life," the post said, a day after a tearful Clarke appeared on national television to pay tribute to his best mate on behalf of the Australian team.

Hughes' New South Wales teammate Dan Smith has also struggled with the tragedy. "Happy birthday champion. Words can't describe how much I miss you. Life will never be the same again," he wrote.

The tributes all around the world have been touching.

As well as most sports having a minute silence, singer Elton John dedicated his song Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me to Hughes and the man who bowled the ball, Sean Abbott, at a concert in Germany.

Cricket Australia is yet to decide whether the next round of Sheffield Shield games, scheduled to start on Friday, will go ahead.

Meanwhile, in a freak coincidence, an umpire at a cricket match in the Israeli city of Ashdod died after being hit in the head by a ball. The man was believed to be Hillel Oscar, 55, the former captain of the Israeli team.

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