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Tension with CA may end Clarke's World Cup dream.

MICHAEL Clarke and Cricket Australia ( CA) are on a collision course and one of the major reasons for the fallout is the injured captain's uncertainty for the World Cup.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald , Clarke's future hangs in the balance because of his " broken relationship with Cricket Australia management and his teammates." The report reads, " The captain has been on a collision course for months with almost every level of the Cricket Australia hierarchy, from chief executive James Sutherland to high- performance manager Pat Howard to chairman of selectors Rod Marsh to coach Darren Lehmann. Some officials complain he's refused to return their phone calls.

" Part of the tension is about team selections.

When Queensland batsman Joe Burns was selected for the Boxing Day Test, Clarke was said to be angry about not being consulted. Yet much of the animosity concerns his dodgy hamstrings and lower back problems," said the report.

Clarke has been given a deadline of February 21 to prove his fitness for the World Cup. " Privately, he is furious about selectors setting a deadline of February 21 -- the second pool match against Bangladesh -- to prove his fitness for the World Cup after hamstring surgery.

" An eternal optimist and tireless when it comes to preparation, Clarke is adamant he will be fit -- although most behind the scenes tell you he is a slim prospect at best. Clarke's camp says he had initially been given until March 4 -- the fourth pool match against Afghanistan -- to prove his fitness. " At the very least, he will want to play Sheffield Shield cricket for NSW." The report said CA was miffed with Clarke before the start of the India tour but the death of Phillip Hughes changed everything. " It was going to come to a head on November 25 as Clarke vaingloriously told anyone who would listen of his desire to play in the first Test against India at the ' Gabba. The day before he publicly contradicted Marsh about playing in a two- day warm- up match in Adelaide to prove his fitness. Sutherland and others were going to rule him out of the Test side and select Phillip Hughes. Then everything changed." Clarke played in the first Test in Adelaide and pulled out of the rest of the series with hamstring injury. At MCG in the Boxing Day Test, he was an expert with Channel Nine. " It's been argued that Clarke was there for rehab purposes. His teammates were far from impressed as their captain openly discussed strategies, technique and what players were thinking and should be doing in the centre."

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jan 27, 2015
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