Sydney: Apr 4, 2011
New Australian captain Michael Clarke expressed surprise Monday at the media attention on his 30th birthday celebrations over the weekend.
Clarke, who left for Bangladesh Monday in charge of the Australian team for the first time since replacing Ricky Ponting last week, was splashed across weekend newspapers and on television enjoying his big night out.
Clarke told a press conference at Sydney Airport he was perplexed as to why his birthday would be in the public interest.
"I probably laughed a bit like everyone else to be honest. I certainly didn't expect something like that to make the paper, but it did and that's the way it is I guess," Clarke said.
"For me it was about enjoying my 30th birthday with my father and some close friends and relatives.
"I hadn't been home for (my birthday) for I think it was five years because I've been on tour a fair bit.
"I had a great day, it was really enjoyable and for me it's just about getting on with it."
Clarke, who has been questioned over his ability to manage relationships within the Australian team and his variable batting form, said his focus now was on the team's success on the brief tour of Bangladesh this month.
"My focus is here, my focus is on getting to Bangladesh and playing some good cricket and I think the public's focus is pretty similar," he said.
"I don't think they want to read about what I do on my birthday."
Clarke said it will take time for him to stamp his own brand of captaincy on the Australian team and his initial goal is simply to win the three-match one-day international series.
He said the gravity of taking over from long-time incumbent skipper Ponting will set in when he leads the team out onto the pitch for the first match.
"He (Ponting) is probably stoked I'm here doing the press. He doesn't have to do it any more," he said.
"I think when I walk onto the field in the first one dayer against Bangladesh it'll probably sink in more. I don't think it's really sunk in just yet."
Australia begin their tour with an ODI against Bangladesh in Dhaka on April 9 with Ponting included in the touring team, purely as a batsman.