Clarke downplays Dar confrontation

Australia

Australia captain Michael Clarke reflected on a confrontational end to the Ashes series, after Sunday's rain-affected draw at The Oval in London capped a three-nil win for England.

Australia captain Michael Clarke reflected on a confrontational end to the Ashes series, after Sunday's rain-affected draw at The Oval in London capped a three-nil win for England.

Clarke gathered plenty of admirers on the back of a bold declaration on the fifth and final day, after day four was completely lost to rain. The move, however, almost backfired – as the hosts came very close to reaching the target.

Umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Aleem Dar, however, didn't allow the English the chance to chase the final 21 runs off four overs. Instead, bad light brought the five-match affair to its close.

"I can't remember what I said to him but I remember Aleem touching me, and I asked him politely to not touch me because if I touched him I'd be suspended for three matches," said Clarke.

"I just asked the question why we haven't got the meter out there and it took a few overs to get it out. That's all I can remember, coincidentally. From my point of view I have no issue, I just know a player is not allowed to touch an umpire, but for me personally I have no issue with it."

There was widespread disappointment – albeit not shared by the tourists – when the game was cut off so close to an unforgettable result, but Clarke suggested the abandonment could have come even earlier if previous light readings had been adhered to.

"Once they took the reading, I knew it was going to be darker than what it was in Manchester. I was batting at the time in Manchester and I knew it was going to be darker than what it was in Manchester," he added.

"There was no comparison. I'm not going to get into the numbers on the meters. I will probably get in trouble for it so I won't go into the number. For us, we just have to go by the umpires' call. If they think it is safe to keep playing then we keep playing.

"When you can see your own shadows, just going on what's happened in the past throughout this series, you know it's getting to around that time when umpires have consistently taken us off the field."

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