Clarke: Put country first


PUT COUNTRY before playing in the Indian Premier League and Champions League.
This, according to Australia’s vice-captain Michael Clarke, is the way international players can find a way around their hectic schedules.
Clarke suggested that if players gave the IPL and Champions League T20 an occasional miss, it would ensure that they were at their best when playing for the country.
Clarke was speaking on a day two of Australia’s first-choice players – Michael Hussey and Doug Bollinger – joined the squad, two days before the start of the Test series.
India await their Chennai Super Kings players Mahendra Dhoni, Suresh Raina and M. Vijay.
The vice-captain said the Australian team had no choice with Bollinger and Hussey, but he saw the positives in the fact that they were playing “tough” cricket, playing well, and winning it.
Clarke was firm that the players needed to be wise while choosing where and when to play in a modern cricketing world full of opportunities.
“For me, we all have a choice,” he said. “You don’t have to play IPL. You don’t have to play Champions League. For me, personally, right now it is about representing my country, and every game I can play for Australia, I will do that.
“That’s my priority. If, as an individual player, you are tired or your body needs some rest, you need to make that commitment outside of international cricket. You need to, maybe, play less in the IPL or play less in the Champions League.”
Clarke and Mitchell Johnson are two high-profile Australia players to have not taken part in the IPL yet.
Hectic schedules, Clarke said, were part of a modern cricketer’s life. (Cricinfo/EZS)


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