Blues to select brave Abbott in Shield

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 07 Desember 2014 | 23.08

There are a number of tributes planned to honour the late Phillip Hughes in first Test against India in Adelaide on Tuesday.

Sean Abbott is expected to return to cricket on Tuesday night. Photo by Robert Cianflone. Source: Getty Images

SEAN Abbott is poised to make a brave cricket comeback on Tuesday after confiding in New South Wales teammates that he wants to return to the pitch.

It will be on same SCG ground that he left as a shattered man after the Phillip Hughes tragedy.

There were initial fears Abbott may never be able to play high-level cricket again after the psychological trauma of delivering the bouncer which felled Hughes.

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However Blues officials and teammates have been heartened by the strong and courageous manner in which the young cricketer has dealt with the harrowing experience.

The Blues are on Monday set to name the 22-year-old fast bowling all-rounder in their squad for the Sheffield Shield match against the Queensland Bulls starting tomorrow at the SCG.

Abbott and his NSW teammates will still have until match morning to make a final call on whether they are ready to play, with the Blues to name a supersized squad to cover all contingencies.

It is understood that while Abbott wants to play on Tuesday, several of his teammates who were extremely close to Hughes may be still too emotionally fragile to take the field.

Shane Watson has spoken about inner demons and a great deal of apprehension heading into the first Test against India following the shocking death of Phillip Hughes.

Blues players had meetings with Cricket NSW officials on Sunday and were asked whether they thought they would feel ready to play.

There has been an outpouring of support for Abbott and concern for his welfare after he sent down the bouncer which struck Hughes in a freak accident.

The Hughes family has helped the healing process by trying to ensure the young cricketer feels no unnecessary guilt.

Megan Hughes spent some time with Abbott at St Vincent's Hospital during the hours before her brother died.

Yesterday, NSW all-rounder Moises Henriques said he felt Abbott was "coping pretty well''.

"He is coping pretty well and I guess from our point of view as fellow players we are trying to expel his name from the tragedy a little bit,'' Henriques said on Sydney's Sky Sports Radio.

"In my opinion, I don't think he is any more at fault than any fast bowler that has ever bowled a bouncer in his career.

"We are trying to remove his name from everything that has happened and just treat him like another one of the players. That's how he wants to be treated.''

Sean Abbott and his girlfriend Brier after Phillip Hughes' funeral. Pic Nathan Edwards Source: News Corp Australia

On the advice of counsellors, Cricket Australia urged national and state fast bowlers to return to the nets as soon as they felt ready.

Some bowlers felt returning to their natural environment on the cricket field was beneficial. All have had different emotional responses.

Former Test paceman Peter George bowled a bouncer on his first delivery in Brisbane club cricket but only after taking the extraordinary step of warning the batsman he was about to send down a short ball.

No bowler faces a more difficult challenge than Abbott but there have already been some promising signs such as him returning to net sessions with NSW last week.

Henriques says it remains likely several Blues players will not play against Queensland tomorrow.

"I think myself and a few of the other guys are still in a bit of denial of everything that has happened and the extraordinary circumstances,'' Henriques said

"With such a unique situation with someone actually passing away on a cricket pitch, it is quite hard to quite wrap your head around that as a cricketer.''

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