CA rules 'injured' Clarke out of first Test against India

Sydney, Nov 25 - Australia cricket team captain Michael Clarke has reportedly been ruled out of the first Test against India and Cricket Australia is expected to announce on Tuesday that the skipper would not take the field in either Sydney grade cricket or the two-day tour match against the visitors in Adelaide.

CA's decision would end any chance of Clarke taking the field in Border-Gavaskar series opener. And in further bad news for the Australian skipper, it has been reported that CA chief executive James Sutherland would seek a 'please explain' from Clarke on why he contradicted the selectors with his public statements on Monday.

Sutherland said that he would talk to Clarke and others who have been involved in the process to make sure he understands where these things have gone awry. He added that it's not really appropriate for him to go into any more detail, News.com.au reported.

Sutherland said that all he can say is that he is concerned that there are some mixed messages coming out of CA in the last 24 hours or so and he wants to understand why things have fallen off the rails a bit there.

It is unclear whether CA intends on naming an immediate replacement for Clarke, or if they would allow the current round of Sheffield Shield matches to conclude. If they opt for the latter, the next four days could amount to a virtual first Test audition for the likes of Phil Hughes, Shaun Marsh, Callum Ferguson and Alex Doolan.

Clarke had been determined to take the field for domestic side Western Suburbs in Sydney this weekend to prove his fitness. Selectors, however, had been adamant that Clarke needed to play in the tour match against India if he was to be any chance of playing the first Test at the Gabba.

But medical staff have had the final say by confirming Clarke's hamstring was not ready to withstand the rigours of either game. The series opener against India would be just the second Test Clarke has missed through injury in his 107-game career.

It is understood Clarke, after talking to team physio Alex Kountouris, maintained as late as Monday afternoon that he had been ruled out of the two-day tour game in Adelaide. But CA later said that assumption was incorrect.

The CA position is consistent with that made by chairman of selectors Rod Marsh in announcing a 12-man squad for the first Test against India .

CA's statement on Monday said that the board's position has not changed since their announcement of the Test squad, that is, Clarke is to continue undergoing daily treatment for his injured hamstring as well as his ongoing back condition, with the aim of increasing his running over the coming days.

Clarke dislikes plane travel due to a chronic back condition but would have had to fly to Adelaide for the tour match to make the series opener in Brisbane starting December 4. With that now off the cards, wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin will debut as Test skipper, the report added. (ANI)




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