Australian captain Michael Clarke has made it clear that he did not compromise his fitness by opting to sign a lucrative contract with the Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Clarke was reported to have agreed to the deal after being offered a staggering $1 million for six games. The Aussie captain is scheduled to have a three-week break before Australia embark on a tour of England in June and July.
He will have a further eight-week break before Australia play Pakistan in four ODIs and two Twenty20 matches in August, tentatively scheduled to be held in the neutral venue of Sri Lanka.
“Representing Australia always comes first for me. I wouldn’t do anything that would physically jeopardise that and I’ve made that very clear,” Clarke said.
“I’ll be having a good break this winter. If there was ever a time for me to have a go at playing in the IPL, it’s now.” Clarke was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.
Previously, Clarke had resisted the riches of the the IPL to focus on national duty. Clarke will replace Yuvraj Singh, who was this month discharged from a US hospital after a third round of chemotherapy for a rare germ cell cancer. He will join fellow Australians Steve Smith and James Hopes at the Pune franchise.