Clarke given deadline as host’s name WC 15

2015 World Cup

Australia's national selectors have set captain Michael Clarke a deadline to prove his fitness before the second match of the World Cup, which takes place against Bangladesh on 21 February.

Australia, who will be co-hosting the event with New Zealand, open their World Cup campaign against England on the 14 February but then have a break of week before their next match against the Tigers.

The Aussies named their final 15-man squad for the showpiece event, with Clarke as captain and George Bailey as his deputy. Clarke, who underwent surgery on his hamstring, admits that he is in a race against time to prove his fitness.

National selector Rod Marsh said: "There is a time limit and it doesn't only apply to Michael. If anyone else gets injured then we've got to have them ready to play in the second game.

"We want him there, don't make any mistakes about that. Because when we sat down to pick the team we looked at the best batsman in the country and Michael is certainly one of them. No doubt about that. We want him to play, he wants to play, all he's got to do is get fit.

"We want to walk into that tournament and we reckon there's an extra week after the 14th, that Bangladesh game is on the 21st and by the 21st of February we want to be completely and utterly settled."

Clarke did say that it was the selectors choice to name him in the squad and all he is focusing on at the moment is just trying to get as fit possible.

He said: "It's up to the selectors, they make their decision and that's why I say right now my focus is getting fully fit to be able to play whatever format of the game, whether it's Test cricket or ODI cricket.

"The Australian medical staff will make the decision that I'm okay to walk out on that park and perform at my best. So it's really irrelevant what I think to be honest."  

Australia's World Cup squad: Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey (vice-capt), David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty.

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