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Michael Clark to skip Aussie T20 ‘Big Bash’

Jul 23, 2011 3:50:26 PM - thesundayleader.lk

Michael Clarke will not play in the Australian Big Bash League after deciding to concentrate on his new role as Australia Test captain.

Clarke was handed the reins of the Australia team in Test and one-day cricket following Ricky Ponting’s decision to stand down following the World Cup in March.The right-hander will make his Test captaincy debut on the tour of Sri Lanka next month before a busy summer schedule against South Africa and India, the world’s top-two Test nations, as well as New Zealand.

With the Big Bash League due to be staged in the midst of those Test series in January the 30-year-old, who has shunned the Indian Premier League to concentrate on his Australia duties before, will skip the newly-franchised tournament. “With the greatest respect to everybody involved in the KFC T20 Big Bash League, I will not be committing for this year,” Clarke said.

“My goal is to play Twenty20 cricket domestically, for sure.

“But at the moment, I want to prioritise my time and commitment to my role with the Australian team. “We have a big six months ahead, and my commitment and focus is with those teams. “I am also only available for one BBL game this year, and that was a consideration as well.” The news comes as a blow to the Sydney Sixers, who had been in negotiations with Clarke. He and Mitchell Johnson will be the only Cricket Australia contracted players not to take part.