SYDNEY - Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke wrote a moving birthday tribute to Phillip Hughes Sunday, calling him the brother he never had as players continued to grieve over his death. Hughes, who would have celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday, died Thursday two days after he was knocked unconscious by a bouncer while batting in a domestic match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Australia's first Test against India, which was due to start on Thursday in Brisbane, has been postponed with no new date yet scheduled. Clarke said he "struggled to comprehend how this tragedy could happen to one of life's true characters and gentlemen". "His cricketing achievements -- of which there were many -- really play second fiddle to the human qualities that he exhibited," Clarke wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. "Loyal to a fault, eternally optimistic, kind-hearted, wicked sense of humour, a child-like verve for life... I really could go on and on."

Clarke wrote of how he was instantly drawn to Hughes when the talented cricketer, then 17, moved to Sydney from his hometown of Macksville to play for his club Western Suburbs. "I don't think in 12 years of playing cricket at the top level I have ever come across a more loyal or generous-hearted teammate," Clarke wrote. "I don't have a blood brother, but I am very proud to have called Phillip my brother. I am a better man for having known him."

Cricket Australia has said rescheduling of any Tests in the four-match series would be done in full consultation with the players, the Indian Board, the International Cricket Council and broadcasters. Local media said the start of the Brisbane Test could be delayed by one or two days to give players some room to grieve after Hughes' funeral on Wednesday at Macksville in northern New South Wales. Alternatively, the second Test in Adelaide, Hughes' adopted home, could be recast as the opening match of the series, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.