Clarke focusing on `must-win` Champions Trophy more than `eagerly-awaited` Ashes
Sydney: Australian captain Michael Clarke has said that his team is focusing more on the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy at this point of time than the eagerly-awaited Ashes, which is still some time away.
Clarke and his men are in Cardiff ahead of the defence of the last edition of the eight-nation one-day trophy they won in South Africa in 2009, marking the start of their British tour, the centrepiece being their attempt to regain the Ashes urn, having lost the past two five-Test rubbers.
Australia would get a chance to score what could be seen as a handy psychological blow when they meet England in their Champions Trophy Group A opener at Edgbaston on June 8.
However, Clarke has insisted that Australia are fully focused on winning the Champions Trophy, with the Ashes firmly at the back of their minds, although he added that there is a lot of build-up for the Ashes regarding the media and the public.
According to the Australian skipper, the Champions Trophy will be a tough tournament, adding that his team will have to give their best and focus on making sure that they are prepared very well for the first game of the tournament. Playing down fears that England would be better prepared for the Ashes as a result of their 2-0 series win over New Zealand, Clarke said that if they win the Champions Trophy, then the experience will be more than enough preparation for their team in view of the English conditions.
Clarke further said that he has no problem in speaking about the Ashes and hearing about them, adding that it is a fantastic series that every Australian cricketer looks forward to. Stating that he does not want to look back on the disastrous India tour, which his side lost 4-0, Clarke said that he is looking forward to the future, adding that the Champions Trophy is completely different from the to Test matches that they just played in India as it is an international one-day tournament.