Till 27th April, the classy Australian middle-order batsman, nicknamed ‘Pup’, would be busy leading his country against the West Indies in the three-Test series that concludes at Providence Stadium in Guyana.
Pune Warriors‘ next game after the end of the Australia-West Indies Test rubber is slated for 1st May against Deccan Chargers at Hyderabad and Clarke would have enough time to fly into India and make his IPL debut.
Clarke, who has avoided playing in the cash-rich league during the past four editions, has finally agreed to be a part of the cricketing extravaganza. He is certainly the biggest overseas name to have signed for any franchise this season.
His inclusion also means that the franchise will have a back-up captaincy option in case their skipper for the season Sourav Ganguly, who will turn 40, within another three months.
Clarke, who is probably among the best international captains will certainly be the one who stands to be a long-term leader for the franchise as this might well be the former India captain’s last season in IPL. Interestingly, Clarke made his Test debut in India and scored a magnificent 151 during that match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
“We are thrilled to have Michael Clarke on board. The reigning Australian skipper is one of the world’s best cricketers. His presence in the side, and cricketing proficiency, will boost the prospects of Pune Warriors India in the DLF IPL 2012,” MD of Sahara Adventure Sports, Sushanto Roy was quoted as saying by a press release.
“Clarke was exceptional in the recent Test series against India, as batsman and captain. He is a very popular cricketer in India, and followers of the sport are eagerly looking forward to his participation in the DLF IPL 2012,” IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla commented.