Australia news

Clarke out of the IPL, saved for the Ashes

Daniel Brettig

March 26, 2013

Comments: 61 | Text size: A | A

Michael Clarke raises his bat after reaching fifty, India v Australia, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 1st day, March 2, 2013
Michael Clarke's back and hamstring problems need rest ahead of the Ashes © BCCI

Australia's captain Michael Clarke will take much-needed rest at home, rather than taking up his likely appointment as captain of the Pune Warriors in the IPL, as the best remedy for the back and hamstring problems that bedevilled his India tour.

Clarke underwent scans soon after his arrival in Sydney and ESPNcricinfo understands these showed that his back trouble was caused not by any new source but the same degenerative disc that has afflicted him since his teenage years.

Complaints of hamstring discomfort were also assessed, with no evidence found of a new injury, rather the accumulated wear of carrying a tender muscle through the tour after he strained it during the home Test series against Sri Lanka.

As a result of these dual problems, Clarke has been advised to rest and then train to strengthen his body rather than linking up with the Warriors. It has been reported that Clarke may be offered as much as A$2 million to lead the IPL franchise after Yuvraj Singh expressed reluctance to be captain, but the risk of fouling up an Ashes campaign that may define his captaincy has been deemed too acute.

"Michael Clarke had scans that confirmed his current lower back injury is an exacerbation of previous issues he has had with his spine," Cricket Australia Chief Medical Officer Justin Paoloni said. "As always, we need to manage this carefully as there are potentially serious consequences with further aggravation.

"He still has pain with basic activities and is not back to full function as yet. He also has a hamstring injury that has been a concern for most of the summer and will complicate his return.

"Michael is having intensive rehabilitation for both his back and hamstring but is still 7-10 weeks away from returning to training and playing. We are confident that it will not affect his Ashes preparation but will know more over the coming weeks."

On his early return to Sydney following his inability to regain fitness in time for the fourth Test of an ignominious series on the subcontinent, Clarke said he would "listen to the experts" regarding his battered and fatigued body and his IPL participation.

"I'll have scans this week and spend plenty of time with the physio, fingers crossed it turns out okay," Clarke said. "Sitting down for 12 hours has made it a little bit stiff, but I'm really confident that I'm in good hands with my physio here in Sydney.

"I'd be silly to make that decision [on the IPL] right now, I think I need to wait on the results, listen to the experts and then make a plan from there. I've had my back issues since I was 17 years of age so this is no different. In regards to my hamstring I hurt it throughout the Australian summer and it has just lingered on. I haven't had the opportunity to get that 100% fit due to how much cricket we've had."

The national team's coach Mickey Arthur, the national selector John Inverarity and the team performance manager Pat Howard have no formal right to bar a player from participating in the IPL, as the tournament's span has been defined by Cricket Australia as a leave period. However they are likely to privately advise various players of their preferences, as was done last year when Shane Watson was counselled to stay out of the event.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by harishk19812007 on (March 27, 2013, 23:00 GMT)

he is no good as t20 player....blessing in disguise for Pune warriors!!!!!

Posted by sonicattack on (March 27, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

@John Verdal ' i thinkaustralia's pace attack is better than england at the moment. pattinson, siddle, harris, starc, bird, cummins, sayers, faulkner and copeland can seriously trouble england in seaming conditions'....well, that's an awful lot of pacemen in one team, are you sure that they are all going to play? And I haven't seen Sayers mentioned in these columns he the new Glenn McGrath?

Posted by Freak7820 on (March 27, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

Great news, we need Clarkey fit for the Ashes.

I think other 'test' players should look at skipping IPL and focusing on the longer version of the game (eg. Warner).

Posted by popcorn on (March 27, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

This is great news! I suggest that the Selectors INTERNALLY watch who is running after Club than Country, and remove them from Selection for Test Cricket, and The Back -to -back Ashes. I will never forget how Doug Bollinger ran after IPL and Champion League money, thereby breaking down on the LAST day of the Mohali Test AT LUNCHTIME - and losing the match for us. Thank God he has NEVER been selected again for Australia. Mike Hussey,who was also underdione for The India Test Series, failed in the Tests, but escaped sacking because of his later performances. The Selectors should strike off Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Shane Watson who are IPL specialists. Steve Smith is the ONLY exception.

Posted by farkin on (March 27, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

doing the right thing by dropping the ipl and the other test players should be looking to do the same

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (March 27, 2013, 3:09 GMT)

Clarke will be retired in five years that is maximum.. He is not 100 percent fit in the series..I got back problems for almost 20 years and I know how it is..

Posted by YS_USA on (March 27, 2013, 2:42 GMT)

Redneck, Now you are babying them. They can tour England, India and SA in the same year. What you do not like is their horrible recent performance in India. I could not believe myself watching Watson and Warner perform so badly after watching their super performances in IPL during the last 5 years, but these things happen. Same thing happened to Sahwag and Gambhir. You have to be just patient and wait till Australia produces their own Pujara, Kohli, Jadeja, Ambla, AB, Cook, Prior and they will be back again.

Posted by YS_USA on (March 27, 2013, 2:27 GMT)

Redneck, You are making it easy for them, pull out of IPL and focus on Ashes. The true test of a really talented player is to perform at IPL and also at Ashes and national duties, like Gayle, KP, most of SA players and many more.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 1:14 GMT)

Hot debate here... Well, first of all, I am an Indian, and have seen the pros and cons of IPL over last five seasons. Forget about the Ashes, IPL, everything; there's the thing called "National Duty". These players get paid as they are international Heros, not because they play Tests or ODIs or T20s for that matter. If you are not 100% fit, avoid anything else than national duty! I remember Sehwag missing T20 wc as he kept his injury a "secret" during IPL; he got the money for playing, no doubt but two years down the where does he stand? I also admit that WI cricketers are coming back to Cricket due these leagues only, but are they really national players? How many of them decided to be "out of Contract" to play IPL??? No doubt, IPL is a great idea to give everyone what he wants - viewers - the entertainment, players - the money, broadcasters - the revenue, etc but one should not opt out of his "national duties" or play with injuries, that could really end the career for some money...

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 1:13 GMT)

people starting to predict england will win 4-0 or 5-0 in the ashes series too soon. australia have a better chance of beating england than india in india. the england side is not as good as people think. newzealand outplayed england in the current series . england depend a lot on cook and trott in batting and anderson and swann in bowling. its highly unlikely both will be fit for the back to back ashes series. i thinkaustralia's pace attack is better than england at the moment. pattinson, siddle, harris, starc, bird, cummins, sayers, faulkner and copeland can seriously trouble england in seaming conditions. i think australia can win the ashes as long as their batsmen can score runs. khawaja, clarke , watson and warner have to fire .

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

@abcdef_12345 : Your argument is flawed. "Does it mean anything to a normal spectator who has job or study and can afford to spend no more than 3-4 hours for watching a game"

In places like India people in large numbers still follow test cricket.. Maynot watch them in stadiums but follow very actively on TV/Internet. And these are real people with real jobs..And as long as test cricket has this kind of fan base it will survive easily..

It is just that you don't know !! I don't know if your hypothesis is based on articles which expound on why cricket isn't popular in US.. You know what as long cricket has that kind of solid base in India ..US base is not even actually needed !!

Posted by heathrf1974 on (March 26, 2013, 23:30 GMT)

@abcdef_12345 You make a good point about promoting the game with regards to T20. However, Clarke is from Australia and our cricketing culture is very healthy, maybe not the talent pool, but the support is there. He will also be financially very well off. Also test cricket can last for five days, a lot of fans can be quite patient. Look at golf tournaments, they last for four days. Test cricket is the ultimate, but the shorter format is a way to promote the game, but I don't think the ICC is looking for world domination.

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (March 26, 2013, 21:35 GMT)

I have a lower disc problem too. It is painful! And I don't play at the competitive level that Clarke does. So good call. Even Ashes can wait for that condition to heal!

Posted by anshu.s on (March 26, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

@MartinC, i don't think that reference was regarding England's ranking , he was trying to pinpoint how Football is such a popular sport in England and cricket is so far behind in popularity ratings.@AnishSomani, they get paid good money to turn out for there country, footballers who earn much more than cricketers play for there country without a single penny because there wages are paid by there clubs, now that's called playing for pride, @teamrocker, this kind of snobbish, elitist, old fashioned attitude is exactly the reason why AFL,NRL ,European football leagues are streaking ahead of cricket, please refer to my original post ...

Posted by samincolumbia on (March 26, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

It's funny nowhere in the article it states that the fact Clarke not playing the IPL was actually said by him. Looks like CA and the selectors already made the decision for him...sort of preempt him from playing atleast some of the IPL games. Whether he plays IPL or not, it will be 5-0 or 4-0 for England in the Ashes. I won't surprised if he retires and try to make the most of his remaining years, rather than play the silly Ashes.

Posted by cricketfanwrites on (March 26, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

I am sure he'll find a way to be a part of the IPL this year. He may not play the full schedule but part(s) of it. Here is why, he said this, "I've had my back issues since I was 17 years of age so this is no different. In regards to my hamstring I hurt it throughout the Australian summer and it has just lingered on". If he is cleared by his and CA doctor(s), CA should allow him get a piece of that lucrative pie over there. Who knows - IPL may not be around forever. I know test cricket will be.

Posted by Kaze on (March 26, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

Good, have no idea why he signed up for IPL to begin with.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (March 26, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

great decision , if you are not fit then don't play IPL, trying to win ashes in england is quite a big task than playing in IPL. Clarke is only hope to win ashes in england otherwise i am expecting 5-0 defeat in england.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 16:18 GMT)

Good decision. Before Clarke burns himself to "ashes" with excessive cricket, he decides to save himself for THE "ashes" !

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

This is the importance of test cricket.Michael don't want 2 play for money.clarke understood the seriousness of leading australian side inthe test cricket after being white washed by indians.hope Aussies regain the ashes-the most prestigious trophy

Posted by British_North_America on (March 26, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

I am a Bangladeshi and I strongly believe that it is India which has given cricket a new life.Before IPL, cricket was a game of middle class players.India made it a game of upper class.BPL,Big Bash are also followers of IPL.Now, there is money in this sport, so many new nations may get involved in this.Not because of the so called test cricket which requires a 100 years old first class structure with players who can absorb sun's heat for 5 days.Many talented players from Caribbean went to the U.S to play basketball for money in the past.Now, they no more go.They know if they can play well, they will get chance in IPL.

Posted by British_North_America on (March 26, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

MartinC I am not sure what you meant.I never asked what is the ranking of England.I asked the difference between cricket and football.How many people know about Sir Don Bradman in Germany, Canada,U.S or Korea, China, Ghana?Can you show another instance of a game which is played for 5 days and the end result is a drawn? Yes, you are a great batsman with great temperament.You can score 600 runs facing 1000 deliveries and still remain not out.Does it mean anything to a normal spectator who has job or study and can afford to spend no more than 3-4 hours for watching a game?

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 14:01 GMT)

@TeamRocker - this is not 1950s... IPL and T20s is the present and future of cricket..i am not saying this - (i like test cricket)...but overall numbers tell the truth.

Ashes might be huge in Aus and Eng but every where else in the world no one really cares. Clarke could have skipped India tests and played in the IPL and ashes. No one will remember the test series in a few months, but Clarke would have had $2 mil more. After all it is all about money.

Posted by HarshaBoycott on (March 26, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Team Rocker....wake up it is 2013 not 1993!!

Posted by MartinC on (March 26, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

@abcdef_12345 - you asked where England are in world cricket and football sports as you pointed out we invented. England are currently ranked 2nd in the world in Test cricket and 4th in the world in the FIFA world rankings. Room for some improvement but not a train wreck either ...

Posted by heathrf1974 on (March 26, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

Great. Test cricket is what it's all about.

Posted by TeamRocker on (March 26, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

Good to see that Pup has his priorities straight. Australia should pull all the players in their probable Ashes squad out (let the T20 suited youngsters get some experience of Indian conditions). We need to win these Ashes, and the IPL isn't going to help with that.

@abcdef_12345 and @Ravi Darira: Seriously? How is sacrificing playing in a hit and giggle money-based tournament so that you can play your country's biggest test championship "ruining a career." Test cricket is the only real form of cricket, ODI's take a distant second place. T20's (Especially the IPL) take a VERY distant last position. Go figure.

Posted by Harlequin. on (March 26, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

Yet another of the worlds best batsman choosing test cricket over hit-and-hope entertainment, but test cricket is on it's way out? I think not!

When you leave this earth, you can't take money with you, but you can leave a legacy behind.

Posted by AnishSomani on (March 26, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

This is proof to the youngsters.It id not about getting money but the pride of playing for your country.Way to go,Pup!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

clarke was bought in 400 k $ not 2 mil

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

@abcdef_12345 - good point.. test cricket is on its way out anyways. It definitely cost Clarke $2 mill this year...

Posted by ScoobyRaj on (March 26, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

Pune badly needs to get replacements for Micheal Clarke & Tamim Iqbal because batting will have a major impact as both of them are among the best batsman in their respective countries, so absence of such players will hit them very badly, so much so that they have already lost the chances of winning the IPL even before it has taken place unless they can play Rajasthan in IPL 2008 there is no way on earth that they can even think about reaching the finals let alone winning it. They will definitely finish in the bottom of the table.

I badly want Philander to play because I am shocked that a player like Maxwell can get more than a million & a player like Philander is not even selected. Philander is the bowling sensation of South Africa who will eventually end up as among the best to have played the game. I really want him to play as he will make the game even more interesting to watch.

Posted by anshu.s on (March 26, 2013, 12:05 GMT)

@MinusZero,Sam Brady while everone agrees that test format is the most challenging and T-20 does not test test your skill and durability as test does but i am not sure about the hit and giggle term , sure there is lot of hitting involved but no body giggles anymore especially when million of dollars are at stake, if any thing there facial expression carry all the seriousness.Now if this happened in Football then the concerned club will be up in arms and so would be the fans at the loss of there key player. Cricket is a bizzare case because here players are contracted with there national board and you get paid while in Football or soccer as Australians like to call it one plays purely for the the pride of your country and it is your club who pays your wages.Founding members of the game Australia and England were solely interested in county v/s country clashes and not enough on a professional club structure or make the game lucrative enough among the working classes in case of England

Posted by Great-shot444 on (March 26, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

Great newz , first Taylor then pieterson then clarke . Best playes are out of a bad tournament

Posted by anuradha_d on (March 26, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

1) So Clarke could play IPL but not avoid injuries befor iPL??...2) Or is it just that he cannot play IPL because his is currently injured......I believe it is scenario 2...being made to look like the proponents of "Supreme Test Cricket comes before IPL" Lobby

Posted by whofriggincares on (March 26, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

Why do people keep naming Agar in Ashes squads? Yeah the kid can play but he is nowhere near ready for test cricket , it would ruin him . Imagine what KP and Prior would do to him , mate it would be a shambles. Dont make yourself look silly and uninformed by mentioning him. Great news about Pup sidestepping the IPL we need him fit and firing and hopefully back at number 5 for the back to back series. Tugga did all of his best work in the middle order and became a legend of the sport all around the world. Dont fix what aint broke my old man always said.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (March 26, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

Gotta feel for Clarke. He did not make enough money in his prime and youthful days but when he really wanted (by putting himself in auction) he had to miss it.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

bad luck for pune. both tamim iqbal and michel clarke are out due to injury

Posted by Thefakebook on (March 26, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

So both Clarke and Pieterson will not play ipeeL that means the best batsmen on both teams will be fresh and raring go.This is good news really.

Posted by British_North_America on (March 26, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

Sam Brady Yes, I was being sarcastic but I strongly believe that test cricket is the worst format of the game.Both cricket and football was originated in England 150 years ago.Now where is in cricket and where is in football?You can say it is the format to test cricketing skills,technique etc, but at the end of the day, a sport should mean entertainment.If you only keep t20 alive, I can bet within the next 50 years, cricket will be played by 150 nations of the world.Do you know what Edlof Hitlar said about cricket? He said," I won't let my country's people play this sport.It will make them lazy."

Posted by rko2821997rohith on (March 26, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

Ashes is very important for clarke than IPL... I hope he is fit in time for ashes and champions trophy. my ashes squad will be: 1.D.Warner,2.S.Watson,3.P.Hughes,4.M.Clarke(c),5.S.Smith,6.M.Wade(wk),7.N.Coulter Nile,8.M.Starc,9.P.Siddle,10.J.Pattinson,11.N.Lyon.

Posted by ramjayaram on (March 26, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

i think yuvi is the better choice.....

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (March 26, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

Good move by Clarke and rest will be key for the ashes. @sunil_Batra love your team for the ashes, lock it in mate.

Posted by screamingeagle on (March 26, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

Good news for Pune actually. Better not to have him in the team. Not so hot as a T20 player.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (March 26, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

This is the reason why english and aussie cricketers go un-auctioned in IPL. They want to earn quick money with the IPL, but when it comes to Ashes everything gets side-lined.

Eng and Aus were talking about Ashes while they were playing NZ and Ind respectively and its little wonder why Aus got pawned and Eng just managed to salvage a draw where they should have won easily.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

lol at the person who said international cricket is destroying is career? i hope that was being sarcastic by abcdef_12345

Because if that was a clueless indian fan boy comment you guys need to start realising that test cricket is cricket.. 20 20 and IPL is no better than beach cricket..

Destroying a 20/20 career? what career it is a lottery game with no worth. Test cricket will always be real cricket, anyone who thinks otherwise isnt really a fan of cricket IMHO

Posted by Dagur on (March 26, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

It is clear now as to why no other franchisee of IPL shown any interest in the Aussie captain in the IPL Auction. Looking to his suspect commitments, he is not likely to get any future IPL offer.

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (March 26, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

Doesn't matter much. Clarke is not a good T-20 player anyway. In last season, he had not performed either.

No wonder, he is OUT of Australian T-20 team too.

I think, players like Aaron Finch and Bopara etc. (Good T-20 players) who have not been bought by any IPL teams should be picked by Franchisees that are losing some of their Overseas players dues to injuries.

Posted by sandeepknk on (March 26, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

yuvraj is there ,then why pune team going for a forighn captain who not even in the australain t20 team.only 4 fregn players can play in one team,pune had lot of forin plaayers, like tamim iqbal,smith,samuels,ros tayler,luke write,mendis,parnel etc,then how can manage clarke in the team,he is not capable for t20 what a foolish decision taken by pune management by brought this player for a hug amount,i think pune management has no cricketing sence,yuvraj had enough home support,so ask yuvraj to take in charge of pwi.if he is not ready give chance to sugtn to pwi is 1)tamim iqbal2)luke write3)yuvraj4)rose taylor5)uthappa,6)samuels/smith 7)manish panday8)abhishek nayar,9)parvaz resul,10)asok dinda,11) bhuvaneswar kumar

Posted by 22many on (March 26, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

there is a winning captain in Taylor who would be a good choice

Posted by British_North_America on (March 26, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

International cricket is destroying is career.He could not play 4 IPLS due to international cricket.It is high time to reduce number of international matches and Ashes Series.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (March 26, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

Atleast One International Captain has got his priorities right !

Posted by sshailesh on (March 26, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

SO now who willl be the captain for PUNE..??

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (March 26, 2013, 6:13 GMT)

Good decsiion, we need Clarke fit and firing for the ashes. Cowan and Khawaja are also not playing IPL(though they don't have a 2 million offer for them) and they should use the time to play country cricket and get ready for the ashes. A lineup of Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Wade, Lyon, Harris, Pattinson, Siddle, Smith is looking good for the ashes. But plenty of hard work needed before July.

Posted by MinusZero on (March 26, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

While they are ordering people around. They should order the rest of the batting order to go an play first class cricket rather than hit and giggle which has no bearing on test form

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

Not at all surprised at this news. T20 cricket would only aggravate his injury. Plus, he was about to be made captain of the Pune Warriors. Poor Clarke couldn't even properly captain his country, how on earth would he be able to captain a club team with players from different countries ?! So take some good rest Pup and prepare well for the Ashes.

Posted by Doogius on (March 26, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

It shouldn't even be a debate. His priority is the ashes, yet he played in a series with a gammy hammy, with the view to playing another series before the ashes. Suppose $2m was going to fix the muscle strain eh. I loved the 'he'd be silly...' comment - course you'd be silly to risk $2m. Especially given where your priorities lie....

Posted by PeterLaunnie on (March 26, 2013, 2:13 GMT)

The IPL isn't that demanding, with plenty of rest between games? He could undertake a structured rest/fitness and strengthening program while in India, then play a quick game of 20/20 in some evenings to break things up. Not like he needs to train or prove himself in the nets to play...Would be worth trying to play IPL and stay fit for $2 mil....

Posted by Jayseks on (March 26, 2013, 1:39 GMT)

One had to feel sorry for Clarkey for he had to miss the last test at Delhi. However the timing of his injury seems to be coinciding with that of KP's injury. Both primary middle order batsmen had to pull out of their tour and miss the last test match. Both will be missing the IPL completely or at least the better part of it! May be both have their eye on the upcoming Ashes!

Posted by redneck on (March 26, 2013, 1:31 GMT)

clarkes the captain of australia, he needs to set the example and withdraw from the ipl. it would be ideal if every aussie likely to be involved in the ashes campain would pull out of the ipl but thats probably wishful thinking. i can see ryan harris who has just got his body right again re doing his injury if he goes over for the mickey mouse stuff likewise with watson. we need to prioritise and australian cricketers are paid well and can do with out the ipl distraction/injury risk in an ashes year!!! also would love cricket australia to grow a brain and not put the 2 biggest test tours australia have in england and india in the same calender year. we bent over to help england out of a schedual delema that had them touring for the ashes and then straight to the world cup, we should call in that favor to ensure that we dont tour india and england in the same year again!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

clarke should rest and prepare for the ashes series and make few changes to the test lineup. my prefered lineup for the ashes series will be: 1.warner 2.watson 4.clarke 5.khawaja 6.burns 7.wade 8.agar 9.siddle 10.pattinson 11.harris

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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