Clarke out of series, in doubt for World Cup


Australia captain Michael Clarke has admitted that his body is not enjoying the rigours of international cricket, and that this latest injury setback could spell the end of his career.

Clarke's lower back played up again during the first Test against India, requiring him to retire hurt in the first innings, and on day five he had to leave the field with an injury to his right hamstring.

This was not the same leg that had been injured for weeks ahead of this match, and now Clarke is out of the rest of the series, and is at risk of not making the World Cup in February, though he is hopeful.

Clarke said: "The experts are looking at scans now, I don't know exactly how long I'm going to be out for. I think the World Cup, our first practice game is eight weeks away, I'd love to take part in the tri-series, I'd love to take part in the World Cup but I just have to wait and see.

"There's no doubt there's certainly a chance [I will miss the World Cup], well there's a chance I may never play again. I hope that's not the case and I'll be doing everything in my power to get back out on the park but I have to be realistic as well.

"I think my body in general there's always that risk. This is a different hamstring, I did my left hamstring, I've done my right side of my back, I've just done my right hammy.

"I've got injury concerns at the moment, now I've got to go back and do what the experts tell me to give myself my best chance of being fully fit. But I think I have to be honest with myself and have a good hard think about things, definitely."

Clarke's troubles in this game began when his back went into spasm during his first innings. He was on 60 and had looked solid, but then went to his knees and had the medical staff called. He retired hurt, but came back the next morning to record a ton.

He explained: "My back was quite sore. I needed some injections and some medication to get me back out onto the park, but I've said before that's part of playing international sport, people do it on a daily basis.

"Once you walk into the game you have to do whatever it takes to finish that game and it was really important for me to walk back out the next morning.

"India had just taken the second new ball, India had taken three wickets at the end of that day with the new ball so I thought it was important for the team that I got out there and even if I couldn't make runs just see the new ball off to give our tail every opportunity."

He said he would have played this match, in honour of Phillip Hughes, no matter what: "I have no regrets about playing this Test match, I have no regrets about going back on the field after I retired hurt.

"I am extremely thankful that Alex Kountouris and Doctor Peter Brukner did everything they could to give me a chance to get on the park in this Test match firstly, but then to walk out and score some runs.

"The rest will take care of itself. I will be guided by the experts and hopefully I'll get another opportunity to play again this summer."