Australia in New Zealand 2009-10 March 14, 2010

Clarke confirms New Zealand flight

Cricinfo staff

Michael Clarke will join Australia's Test squad in New Zealand on Monday after ending his personal leave to deal with the breakdown of his two-year engagement. Clarke has confirmed his departure with Cricket Australia and a spokesman told Cricinfo he would fly from Sydney on Monday morning with the five-day specialists.

Clarke, the vice-captain, has been at home since leaving the one-day squad early last week and will be pleased to exit the intense local spotlight. Ricky Ponting is looking forward to getting his deputy back and Michael Hussey has said any sledging of Clarke's personal situation by the New Zealanders would be "going a little bit too far".

"I don't know, we'll have to wait and see really," Hussey told reporters in Wellington. "He's such a mentally tough person. He'll be fine. It's important we don't get caught up in that by-play."

Phillip Hughes, Steven Smith, Simon Katich and Marcus North will fly to Wellington with Clarke, who finalised his travel plans with Michael Brown, Cricket Australia's deputy, over the weekend. Ponting is confident Clarke will not have any problems readjusting to life in the Test side and he is a definite starter at the Basin Reserve on Friday.

"He'll get himself prepared for the first Test," Ponting said after losing the final match of the one-day series. "It's obviously been a tough time for him the last few days at home.

"All the guys here have given as much support as possible and he was given as much time as he needed to get everything sorted at home. He'll come back for us as the vice-captain and an experienced player in the Test side."

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  • Arpit on March 15, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    hmm...what happened to "How's Nagam Captain" by Steve Waugh to Sourav Ganguly. Aussie cricketers are making fool of themselves by "No Personal sledging" whereas they are the ones who started it.

  • Robert on March 15, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    Any bloke who thinks he can ditch his team in the middle of a series to go see his missus and then think he shouldn't be sledged about it when he returns is so far in la-la land its unbelievable.

  • vikram on March 15, 2010, 3:34 GMT

    Ok, so the assies think that sledging involving personal matters is off limits. Oh yeah, when its them who are on the receiving end then it does matter, else you know it really doesnt. No where did the same assies go when McGrath was involved in that trash talk with Sarwan. I think NZ should pounce on this opportunity and sledge and demoralize clarke and the whole assies as much as possible. If I were given a chance, I would have no qualms in doing so

  • Brent on March 15, 2010, 3:21 GMT

    I wouldn't expect the kiwis to give him too much stick. As a blackcaps supporter I think hes one of the very few Australians that you can't hate. Always plays in the spirit of the game and never comes across as arrogant or cocky (which ponting is an expert at). All the best clarkey, although I hope you get knocked over for a couple of ducks, we'll need all the help we can get in these 2 tests.

  • JAYANDHAN on March 15, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    For all the Aussies, remember the ugly "sledging match" between McGrath and Sarwan, well if that is not personal, then sledging Clarke "personally" shouldnt be a problem to U guys. Funny hearing an Aussie laying rules about "sledging", come on U R supposed to be "THE TOUGH AUSSIES".

  • Russell on March 15, 2010, 3:07 GMT

    I reckon the Kiwis ought to rip into Clarke and he's up to it. Australians are toughest of the lot and Hussey was out of turn to say what he did.

  • Minhaj on March 15, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    I wish Clarke good luck and I really wish he concentrates on his batting. It is tough to adjust when someone gets stabbed in the back but one has to cope up with the reality. Clarke should fully concentrate on his cricket and forget about the past. He has to stay focused and positive.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    The Kiwi's can sledge all they like, they are a piss poor test side anyway and we'll beat them all the same.

  • NoneOf on March 15, 2010, 2:11 GMT

    BillyC: how come ony when Aus is put in the corner you sisses come up with these slogans such as racism and sledging are 2 different things. No one in the team said a word or condemed when murali was called a name associated with his color, or when herschille gibbs was called something on those lines or when Gayle was also told some thing like that. Thats being toooo sissy mate!

  • TOM on March 15, 2010, 2:00 GMT

    Sledging - my view is that Ricky Ponting's outfit should never explain and never complain. Up to now, the Aus-NZ ODI series was full of sledging and yet was played in the right spirit. Neither side complained. That's different to those on the sideline having something to say about it. Hussey is setting the scene to ease the pressure on Clarke. It is a team tactic. It is taking a leaf out of India's book of using the media and the obviously volatile supporter base to put pressure on the opposition. Only the Indian team has mastered the art - witness the BCCI threatened team walk out, snide, unattributed remarks by supposed insiders about how Aussies don't like it when the volley of sledging is returned. Most of us have no idea what is said on the field yet so many claim to know..sorry boys the grapevine just isn't that good. It's a trusim but generally the losing side doesn't win the sledging contest.

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