ICL: Indian Cricket League

Clarke will miss first Test


Michael Clarke will not play in the first Test against West Indies next week after staying in Sydney following a family funeral. The decision means Simon Katich has a huge chance to press for a recall during the three-day tour match against a Jamaican XI that starts on Friday night (AEST).

While Ashley Noffke is also a possibility to win a Test debut if Australia push for five bowlers at Sabina Park next Thursday, Katich is the most likely replacement in a straight batting swap with Clarke. The funeral of Graham Bingle, the father of Clarke’s fiancee Lara, was held in Sydney today.

“It has been a tough week for Lara and her family, I am glad I have been here,” Clarke said. “I have decided to remain in Sydney for a couple more days to be with the family. I will miss the first Test and am sure the boys will serve Australia well.

“I am looking forward to catching up with the team and being ready to go for the second Test in Antigua.” The match starts on May 30 and Clarke will accept the vice-captaincy, which is temporarily in the hands of Michael Hussey.

When Clarke arrives there is unlikely to be any room for the shadow player Brad Hodge, who will return to the Indian Premier League if he is not picked in the first Test squad. Clarke is expected to land in the West Indies next Friday, the second day of the opening game.

While the Australians have had some disruptions, the West Indies have had a smooth lead-up to the series during a camp in Antigua. John Dyson, the West Indies coach, has been telling his team it is time to deliver against the world champions.

“This is a really great opportunity for them,” Dyson told AFP. “As I look at the main players it is a chance to further enhance their reputations. When you look at the less high-profile players, it is a golden opportunity for them to put their hands up and say: ‘I have arrived.’

“I have been telling them this is the time to really deliver and be counted, and what better occasion than against the best side in the world and in front of your supporters on home turf. If everyone delivers the team will surely benefit.”

Source:Cricket News

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