Michael Clarke has been quoted today, when asked about his prospects of playing in the first test at the Gabba on 21 November 2013:
"There is certainly no guarantee at this stage," Clarke said. "It’s hard for me to say that because I’m trying my best not to look at it like that. I’m always positive. If you ask me I’ll say "Oh, I’ll be fit in a week’s time’. But if you ask [Australian physio] Alex [Kountouris], who knows me very well, I’d imagine he’d certainly say that there’s doubt that I won’t be right.
"Where I sit right now is I don’t know when I’ll be back playing cricket. We have no idea how long it’s going to take."
Well isn’t this magnificent?!?
Off the back of Australia’s drubbing in England this year we face the prospect of losing our premier batsman and captain for the first test. Actually, read the quote from Clarke again for moment: this problem could last longer than just until the first test. Simply: he does not know when the injury is going to be good enough to play again.
Therein lies another problem: Clarke’s preparation, even if he is fit, is going to be horribly underdone. This, obviously, is not a good thing for Clarke or the Australian team particularly given the already truncated preparation many of Australia’s players are going to have because of the ridiculous scheduling decisions made by Cricket Australia for this summer of domestic cricket.
I hope Clarke is fit and I hope he is fit in time to play in at least one of the first class games scheduled before the Ashes start. If he is not than Australia will be further on the back foot than it already is because of poor scheduling.