Indian Premier League 2013: Michael Clarke’s IPL commitments an area of concern for Cricket AustraliaMichael Clarke made his IPL debut last year when he played for Pune Warriors © Getty Images

Sydney: Jan 24, 2013

Michael Clarke‘s commitment towards the Indian Premier League is a cause of concern for Cricket Australia (CA), with the tour of India and the back-to-back Ashes fast approaching.

Clarke is set to accept a big offer in this year’s IPL, only weeks before the Ashes to be played in England.
Australia captain Clarke was listed in IPL’s auction list which is to be held on February 3 at Chennai and may play the entire seven-week long tournament in April and May.

“It’s not 100 per cent yet, but it’s a possibility. I think that’s what he’s thinking,” James Erskine, his manager, said, as reported by Sydney Morning Herald.

Clarke has suffered hamstring injuries in the recent past and despite scoring a lot of runs for Australia, his fitness will be a major concern ahead of a gruelling season with Indian tour and back-to-back Ashes coming up.

Cricket Australia cannot prevent their players from participating in the IPL as it happens during an official ‘leave’ period.

The IPL starts only a week after the fourth and final Test against India and ends on May 26, just 13 days before the ICC Champions Trophy.

The IPL tournament starts on April 3 – only a week after the fourth Test against India winds up in Delhi – and the IPL final on May 26 falls 13 days before Australia starts its pre-Ashes campaign in England at the ICC Champions Trophy.

Clarke made his IPL debut last year on a one-year contract with Pune Warriors.

There is some respite for CA after young pacer Mitchell Starc turned down big-money offers to play in the IPL in favour of being fresh for the upcoming tournaments.