Clarke has Argus review on mind


SYDNEY – Michael Clarke has completed his first official on-field assignment in his new post but it’s what he does off the field during his break which will arguably be more important than anything he achieved on the tour of Bangladesh.
Clarke will spend the next fortnight without a bat or ball in his hand but cricket will still be on his mind as Australia’s new captain clarifies his thoughts before giving his input to the Don Argus-led review into the woes of the game in this country.
The terms of reference for the all-important review remain highly classified but Clarke wants Australian cricket to provide a united front heading into important assignments in Sri Lanka and South Africa before home series against New Zealand and India.
The players, through the Australian Cricketers Association, are at loggerheads with CA over a new memorandum of understanding; the states are feuding with CA, and the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch remains under pressure and, according to some sources, in an untenable position.
“This is the important time for me to spend as much time as I can with the people that make a lot of the decisions about our game and make sure we are on the same page, [with] the same goals and heading in the same direction,” Clarke said last night after landing in Sydney from Dhaka.
“I’m excited to be home and have a little bit of time off but I’m very keen to get to Melbourne and spend some time with CA, the selectors as well, to make sure we’re heading in the right direction.
“I think we all want to see the same goals. We want to see CA going in that one direction – going forward. We want to do everything in our power to give guys the opportunity to perform, we want to support whatever players are selected but it’s about making sure everybody’s plans are the same. I’d like the communication to stay as strong as it can be.”
The national team enters a four-month break before a tour to Sri Lanka in August when Clarke will wear the baggy green for the first time as captain in his own right rather than a fill-in. Despite three relatively meaningless games against one of world cricket’s smaller nations, Clarke said he had already stamped his mark on the team.