Australia news August 31, 2014

Clarke to head home with hamstring injury

ESPNcricinfo staff

Michael Clarke will head back to Australia to nurse the hamstring he injured during the tri-series match against Zimbabwe on Sunday. Playing his first match of the series, Clarke batted for over two hours and was troubled by the issue in the latter part of his innings, but top-scored on a turning pitch with 68 before retiring in the 43rd over.

"Prognosis for me is I'm on a plane in the next 24 hours to go home and have scans and see what results are and go from there," Clarke said. "I really wanted to take part in this series and help Australia have some success but that's not going to be the case."

Clarke returned to the field in the 19th over of Zimbabwe's innings, taking the captaincy back from George Bailey, and also bowled an over towards the end. When asked the reason for his taking to the field despite the niggle, he said, "It was more the fact that if things weren't going to go the way I wanted them to go I wanted to make sure I was accountable for that. I didn't think it was fair to leave that to George. It was up to me to help the team win and if we didn't get the result we wanted then I'm 100 per cent accountable for that. No idea (about tear) or if I did more damage by going back out."

Clarke had initially injured the hamstring - believed to be triggered by the long-haul flight - during a training session after arriving in Zimbabwe and was forced to sit out Australia's first two matches. He had said on Friday that he needed more time compared to others to adjust after long-distance travel and would consider travelling earlier for important tours in future.

Last year, Clarke missed the Champions Trophy in England when his chronic back injury caused him problems upon arrival in the country. Australia's next tour is against Pakistan in the UAE and it kicks off with a T20, which Clarke will not play, allowing him extra time to adjust. The next year could be gruelling for Clarke with a number of overseas tours stacked up.