Clarke desperate to play grade cricket to overcome form slump

Sunday, January 30, 2011

SYDNEY - To overcome his form slump, Australia’s stand-in skipper Michael Clarke has been desperate to play grade cricket for western suburbs in Sydney.

Clarke raised the idea of turning out for Western Suburbs with coach Tim Nielsen and national selectors earlier in the week, but the initiative was shot down as team management were keen for their captain to remain with the squad in Brisbane on the eve of today’s match against England at the Gabba.

“I mentioned that the other day to the coach and selectors. We were batting in club cricket today for Western Suburbs. I’m keen to go back to Sydney and have a hit there but they thought it was better preparation not only for me but for the team to be here with the team, which I agree with,” Clarke said.

“I’m confident I can turn this run out in the middle batting for Australia but if a game does come up for NSW and my grade club, and it fits in with the team, then I’ll certainly be playing,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying.

The schedule, however, will not enable Clarke to return to state or club cricket before Australia’s first game of the World Cup against Zimbabwe on February 21.

The series against England finishes on February 6 in Perth, and the Blues do not play another 50-over game until February 13, by which time Australia’s World Cup squad will have arrived on the subcontinent. (ANI)

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