Pune Warriors get Michael Clarke as replacement for Yuvraj Singh

Australia’s Test and ODI captain Michael Clarke has agreed to join Sahara Pune Warriors for two IPL seasons for an undisclosed sum, says a report in the Times Of India, adding that Sahara Pune Warriors, who were eager to rope in a big star in place of the ailing Yuvraj Singh, have got the man they wanted.

Clarke, who will be 31 next week, is a refined middle-order batsman and can be a utility bowler with his slower stuff. He has never been part of IPL and retired from international T20 last year. Clarke’s inclusion is a coup of sorts for Pune as the Aussie was not available in IPL’s auction pool.

“It’s a big thing for us,” said Abhijeet Sarkar, corporate communication head of the Sahara group, the owners of Pune franchise. “All credit to captain Sourav Ganguly and others who were involved in the negotiations. Clarke will be an integral part of Warriors’ unit. He is a player of big stature and can fill in the shoes of Yuvraj.”

According to a report in Indian Express, the Australian Test and ODI skipper will bring plenty of experience with him, but not so much in the Twenty20 format. Clarke has featured in only 40 Twenty20 matches in his career, 34 of which were international matches. “The other six, the only domestic T20 games he has been involved in so far, came nearly eight years ago, when he played for Hampshire in the 2004 English Twenty20 Cup. Clarke’s last T20 match came in October 2010, for Australia against Sri Lanka, a few months after which he retired from international T20s. His T20 record is modest, with only one half-century in 34 innings that fetched him 639 runs at an average of 22.03 and a strike rate of 108.85.”

Other news (TOI, HT, Indian Express, The Hindu)

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