Sydney: Australia’s cricket captain Michael Clarke has insisted that he has not compromised himself physically by opting to sign a lucrative contract with the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Pune Warriors.
Clarke`s contract is rumoured to be worth a staggering one million dollars for six games, a figure any cricketer would find difficult to refuse, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Large breaks in Australia`s international calendar this year convinced him to accept the Pune Warrior`s offer.
The Test and ODI captain is scheduled to have a three-week break before Australia embark on a limited-overs tour of England in June and July.
And Clarke will have a further eight-week break before Australia play Pakistan in four ODIs and two Twenty20 matches in August - tentatively scheduled for 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. 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," the paper quoted Clarke, as saying
Clarke will come as replacement for star Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh, who was this month discharged from an American hospital after undergoing chemotherapy to neutralise a rare form of germ cell cancer in his lungs.
Clarke will join fellow Australians Steve Smith and James Hopes at the Pune franchise.
Clarke stood down from Australia`s Twenty20 side last year to focus on the longer forms of the game, but stopped short of announcing his withdrawal from 20-over domestic cricket.
He has struggled with a chronic back condition for most of his international career, but insists he is fully fit ahead of Australia`s Test series in the Caribbean.