Michael Clarke has suffered from a chronic back problem in the recent past © Getty Images
Michael Clarke has suffered from a chronic back problem in the recent past © Getty Images

 

Sydney: Jan 28, 2014 

 

Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke has opted out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction on February 12 and has decided to take a four-month break following his team’s tour of South Africa next month.

 

Clarke leaves for South Africa with the Test squad Wednesday after a busy summer at home where they regained the Ashes and then piled up the misery on England by winning the one-day series 4-1.

 

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Clarke has followed his teammate Ryan Harris in giving a miss to the potentially lucrative IPL 7 contract. He wants to lighten his workload ahead of the World Cup and Ashes in England next year.

 

Clarke does not play T20 Internationals but he was likely to create interest amongst the teams at the auction.

 

He played in the 2012 IPL for the now defunct Pune Warriors and was set to stay there for the subsequent season until a flared up back injury pushed him out of the reckoning.

 

The Australian cricketers, however, will be feature heavily in the auction with tearaway bowler Mitchell Johnson to be the most sought after buy.

 

The in-form Johnson was surprisingly not retained by the Mumbai Indians.