Cape Town - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes will be buried in his home town on Wednesday, Cricket Australia said on Saturday, forcing the indefinite postponement of the test match against India which was scheduled to begin the following day.
Hughes, 25, died on Thursday as the result of a catastrophic injury he sustained when struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match, triggering a wave of mourning in Australia and around the world.
Battling to hold back tears, Michael Clarke read out a statement on behalf of the players at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where Hughes suffered his fatal injury on Tuesday.
"Words cannot express the loss we feel as a team right now," Clarke said.
"We are going to miss that cheeky grin and that twinkle in his eye. He epitomised what the baggy green was about and what it means to us all.
"The world lost one of its great blokes this week and we are all poorer for it."
Clarke said the players had requested that Cricket Australia retire Hughes's one-day international number, 64.
"They agreed. That means so much," he added.
"His legacy of trying to improve each and every day will drive us for the rest of our lives.
"Our dressing room will never be the same. We loved him and always will. Rest in peace bruzzy."
Tributes continued to flood in from around the world for Hughes and an indication of how deeply his death has affected his fellow professionals came in Sharjah, where Pakistan are hosting New Zealand in a test.
The second test had been postponed for a day after Hughes died and there was no celebration of wickets or centuries when it resumed on Friday.
"The game was irrelevant at that stage, that was just a natural reaction by a group of people whose mind was elsewhere," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson told reporters in Sharjah.
"We didn't bowl any bouncers and that was to show respect."