IPL 2012 March 28, 2012

Clarke signs with Pune Warriors

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Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, has joined IPL franchise Pune Warriors. On Tuesday, Sourav Ganguly, the Warriors captain and mentor, had said Clarke was close to signing a contract which would be valid for the next two seasons. On Wednesday, the deal was confirmed by the IPL.

Ganguly, who was appointed captain for this season in the absence of Yuvraj Singh, said having Clarke on board would bolster the Warriors in all departments of the game.

"He can bat and he can bowl. He is a big player," Ganguly told ESPNcricinfo.

Clarke had, in 2009, pulled out of the IPL auction, citing Australia's busy schedule, and has never played in the competition. In fact the only domestic Twenty20 games he has played were way back in 2004, for Hampshire in England. He also retired from Twenty20 internationals in January 2011 in order to focus on ODIs and Tests. Asked why Warriors were interested in Clarke, despite his lack of T20 experience, Ganguly said Clarke had the talent and was considering a return to Twenty20 cricket.

"It is his ability," Ganguly said. "He also wants to re-start playing Twenty20 cricket."

Clarke had acknowledged that his manager was in talks with the franchise but said a decision would be arrived at in due course. Clarke landed in the Caribbean on Monday to join the Australia squad. He is still recovering from a hamstring injury suffered during the CB Series, but is expected to play in the warm-up match ahead of the three-Test series against West Indies.

Clarke will only feature in the second half of the Warriors' campaign, as the West Indies tour finishes at the end of the April.

Warriors are now left with just one more overseas slot to fill. Ganguly also confirmed that the franchise had opened talks with Tamim Iqbal, the Bangladesh opener, but it was too early to say anything definitive. "We are still chatting to Tamim," Ganguly said.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on March 30, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    pune worrirers now storng batting line up after comes clark . clark is mature player

  • dummy4fb on March 30, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    finally ....clarke has succumbed to the lure of making big bucks.......

  • zenboomerang on March 30, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    This is obviously a marketing decision by Pune Warriors as there is a TV & advertising value in having Clarke in their team regardless of form & stats... Clarkes T20 career has been mediocre - average @21 / s.r. @103 & wouldn't make the current Oz team... Bailey @36 / M Huss @39 / Wade @38 / D Huss @25 / Watson @27 / Warner @25 - all have better strike rates & Clarkes needs to be @125+ to be of any value to a team... As for Clarkes bowling @37.5 / econ @8.65 - it makes David Huss @19.1 / econ @6.34 look like Murali... Obviously the BBL has helped him change his decision, but would he get a gig in Oz as his asking price would be a waste of money for such an average batsman?... At nearly 31y.o. I can't see him changing his batting style...

  • daSaj on March 30, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    @PaddyRasta. He retired from T20I years ago, trust me, its not to get in the Australian team

  • Chris_P on March 30, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    Actually, Ganguly might have pulled of a bit of coup here, and long term it may benefiot Indian cricket. While Clarke is not the explosive batsman others have named here, what he will bring to Pune is the mental strength, preparation of being a cricketer. He is a fantastic role model & leader for youngsters. The NSW team have benefited greatly with his influence with the younger players in getting the best of their talents in the most productive way. It is well known in Aust fc how much respect the young guys have for him, both form NSW & other states. It's one of the reasons so many of the NSW youngsters have stepped up to International cricket, one of the reasons, not the only one. He is someone youngsters aspire to follow and train & play hard for. His impact will be more than what his scores will show, of that I am 100% certain. Perhaps Saurav knows more than he is letting on.........

  • kensohatter on March 29, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    Disappointing. Thought the Australian captain was one of the few players able to put country honours ahead of money. IPL and similiar 20/20 tournaments are destroying the traditions of the game and im appauled more people cant see that.

  • PaddyRasta on March 29, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    Maybe he wants to prove some form to the Aussie selectors in time for the 20TI World Cup or it could just be that he wants to end up in a Bollywood movie and become a real star. Lol

  • here2rock on March 29, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    Both Ganguly and Clarke should not be in Pune's side. They are a total waste only playing for money.

  • dummy4fb on March 29, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    Clarke is not suitable candidate for T20 Format.Pune should spend their money on valuable T20 Players....They must have strong+reliable+hitters (3 in 1) players like Gayle,Pollard-Somehow reliable,MccuLum,David Hussey,Brad Hodge,David Warner n BLAH BLAH BLAH.....

  • bubbageil on March 29, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    Not really happy about it but he'll be a good acquisition for Pune. He's a fantastic leader.

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