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.