Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia head coach Darren Lehmann has announced that he is getting “sick of” the constant speculation about Michael Clarke’s fitness ahead of the World Cup.
Despite scoring 51 while representing Western Suburbs in their grade cricket match against Gordon, Clarke admitted that he still has a long way to go before he fully recovers from having his hamstring surgically repaired.
“I’m sick of it,” Lehmann told radio station FiveAA. “I’m looking forward to him coming back. He played grade cricket on the weekend which is great, he’s playing up here on Thursday so I’ll get to have a look at him. I had a good chat to him and he pulled up really well from the grade game. He’s ahead of schedule and I think he’s said that in the press as well. Fingers crossed he might be.”
“He’s captain of Australia, the second most important position behind the Prime Minister as such, we need our captain playing well. When he played well he got a hundred in Adelaide and we won that Test match. We took a risk with that with his hamstring and the history of it but that was for good reason for obvious reasons as everyone knows.
“We all get on, that’s the great thing. Media can say what they like. Media will speculate and people are going to have their views. From our point of view we want our captain fit, which is great leading into the most important tournament for four years. We’ve got the World Cup, the West Indies tour and the Ashes, and we want him ready to go because he leads this side very well.
“Now when he gets back we’ve got to make sure he’s right to go. We can’t afford it to keep going on us in important stages. He knows that, he’s diligent, he’s good to go and really confident he’ll be right to lead us hopefully before Bangladesh, but definitely by Bangladesh.”
Lehmann also dismissed rumours that a number of players were displeased with some of the things Clarke had said while he was commentating during the recent four-Test series against India.
“Not that I heard of and I speak to those guys all the time,” he said. “Channel Nine wanted to get an inside view and that’s no dramas. We didn’t really hear what was said to be honest because we were watching and playing the game – that’s what Channel Nine do and I had no dramas with it.”