Australia in New Zealand, 2009-10 March 8, 2010

Clarke returns home citing personal reasons

Cricinfo staff

Michael Clarke will return home from New Zealand for personal reasons, Cricket Australia has announced. There was no word on how long he would be unavailable for selection and a back-up player was yet to be named.

"Michael is attending to personal, non-cricket matters and we ask on his behalf that his privacy be respected," CA general manager of cricket, Michael Brown, said.

Clarke's departure from the tour comes amid a controversy back home surrounding his fiancee Lara Bingle, whose topless photo, allegedly taken in 2006 by an Australian rules footballer, was published in a magazine last week.

The third ODI of the trans-Tasman series is on Tuesday in Hamilton, with the series squared at 1-1. The limited-overs leg of the tour is followed by two Tests, the squad for which will be announced on Tuesday.

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  • s.sreekant on March 12, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    "@Seagrip mcdonald is calling himself an all rounder nt an bowler alone,jacques cant be retained as he has juz returned from a back surgery n how can you be sure that he wont get those back problem again,u cant take risk by keep on shuffling the team,we need a constant team for a long run,jacques wont be suitable at no 6 n you cant push watson down the order,who is doing a terrific job at the top,the only possibility is that katich should be dropped(which they wont do),clarke has played many innings where the top order struggles,iam not saying jacques is not a gud player,we need a bit more younger player so that we can keep that player as a reserve"

  • peeeeet on March 10, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    seagrip, I don't think Brent was comparing McDonald to Katich as cricketers, just saying that he feels that your analysis on their contributions was flawed. Also, you go to a lot of depth about Clarke's recent form which yes hasn't been that good, but I would like to point out that Ponting's record in both tests and ODIs when he had played the same amount of matches and innings as Clarke is shy of what Clarke's record is. And Bone101, here are some innings when Clarke has performed under pressure to put to bed the argument that he doesn't score when the team needs him - 151 on debut comes in at 4/149; 68 first test in SA comes in at 3/38 and rebuilds innings; Lords 2009 - second innings 136; Edgbaston 2009 - second innings 103*; Adelaide 2009 against WI - second innings 61* to get the draw. So I don't think he has NEVER played a substantial knock under pressure. The guy is still only 28 too and plays in the middle order so runs will mostly be on the board anyway

  • seagrip on March 10, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    s.sreekant are you some kind of nutter?! "What did mcdonald do except for his bowling"? he's a bowler!! thats like saying "What did Warne do except for his bowling" lol!! "hughes has been given enough chances " - so 6 chnaces where he averhaes almost 50 is enough chnaces? Whereas as Clarke was given 21 chnaces for an average of 37 but he didnt have enough chnaces? Like your thinking there too! "jacques can't be retained because of his age,he is going to turn 31 " so he is 30 and that is too old?? too old to replace katich who is almost 35?! "Who said jacques has avg of 50,he has just around 47" so "approx 50" is not close enough to 47.47!! sorry i will use decimal paces next time!! Every one knows Clarke is just an Australian Tendulkar - media love them but only ever bats in losing causes or when the pressure is off - completely overrated!! bats for himself and not the team.

  • dummy4fb on March 10, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    Clarke is still in that team no matter what !he is often called to reserect an innings and does it ! not as good as Huss but show me one cricketer in the last 4 or 5 years that is betterthan Hussey ! there isnt one

  • Bone101 on March 10, 2010, 0:08 GMT

    As predicted, Aus thrashed NZ with Clarke out of the team. Fingers crossed he is unavailable for the test squad and any future international games from now on. The damage he does to the middle order with his selfish and slow batting is massive in the short formats. In tests, he only scores runs when the going is easy and almost NEVER when the team need him.

  • seagrip on March 9, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    In fact in Clarkes last 61 ODI's he has managed a strike rate of 100 or better TWICE!! TWICE!!! and one of those innings was out for 4 runs from 4 balls! So effectively one innings of note has he managed a run a ball in his last 62 ODI's. ONE!! Well played. In over 44% of these innings he has gone at a strike rate of 57.1 or LESS!! And in over 35% of his last 61 ODI's he has gone at a strike rate of 50 or LESS!! Genius!! Aus will miss you. Such a surprise that Aus romped the next ODI that he was out.

  • seagrip on March 9, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Just like to point out that in Clarkes last 21 ODI's he has not managed a strike rate of 100 or better in a single one! Not a single game!! In fact half of those games he has had a strike rate of 62.5 or BELOW. I think that point is worth re emphasising, HALF of Clarkes last 21 ODI's he has had a strike rate of LESS than 62.5. And not ONCE has he managed a run a ball!

  • MarrickvilleDave on March 9, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    Michael Clarke showing true class, on and off the field.

    As for snide critics on this thread with truly ridiculous and contemptible Ashes references and comments about under the thumb and such: Stop looking at stolen /abusive photos of her, and take a good look at yourself. If you can stomach it.

    The ultimate hard man of Australian cricket (S.Waugh) was and is also a dedicated family man - likewise Gilchrist.

    Anyone brave enough to tell them they were under the thumb? Please, step up by all means!! Otherwise grow up (or at least shut up) and learn respect (which anyone familiar with the subject would know is the central principle of the laws and spirit of cricket)

  • strangebrew1967 on March 9, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    The moment Lara Bingle sold her story to the media - she has opted to exploit the situation for what it's worth and it makes a nonsense of Michael Clarke rushing home to support it. If Lara has purely opted to sue as a matter of priniciple and to restore her loss of face then I can accept the need to be supported. She has put the story in the national media and to all sorts of exposure by selling it and expecting Michael Clarke to run home and support her is extremely unfair on him. Sorry she is no longer the victim was she goes for the filty lucre offerred by Woman's Day. If she really had principles (and truly valued her privacy!)- she wouldn't have sold the story and Michael Clarke would probably still be in New Zealand. I just wish we would see less of these stories (another is Mitchell Johnson) where guenuine cricket followers eyes must glaze over when soap-opera story lines are the reasons for a loss of form or focus.

  • PeacefulWarrior on March 9, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    Clarke's desertion is a shameful act of treachery to his country and teammates. As far as I am concerned, he has forfeited his right to ever play for Australia again. I will boo him every time he comes out to bat. He is a disgrace to his cap and country.

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