Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Michael Clarke has faced an intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme over the past month. Ryan Pierse / Getty Images
Michael Clarke has faced an intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme over the past month. Ryan Pierse / Getty Images

Michael Clarke backs himself to play all five Ashes Tests

Australia captain says he has been battling back problems since age of 17 and knows he has years of cricket left.

SYDNEY // Michael Clarke, the Australia cricket captain, said on Tuesday he believes he can play all five Ashes Tests against England and has years of cricket left in him, despite being plagued by chronic back problems.

Speaking to reporters on the eve of his expected comeback from injury to lead New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania on Wednesday, Clarke said he was ready.

“Right now I feel fit and healthy,” he said before a final fitness test.

He batted away speculation about early retirement due to his lingering back troubles, saying: “I certainly don’t believe that my back will play a part in regard to shortening my career.”

Clarke gave further details in his column in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.

“While there is ongoing speculation about my future, my back is no worse now than it has been for years,” he wrote.

“I have been dealing with it since I was 17,” he said, noting he had only missed one Test in his entire career because of his back.

“I have degeneration in three of my discs which require constant maintenance,” said the captain.

“That means I will always experience some stiffness and pain,” said Clarke, who has faced an intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme over the past month.

Clarke said he was confident Australia could turn the tables on England in the Ashes series, which starts in Brisbane on November 21, after a 3-0 defeat in England in July-August.

Meanwhile, England will face a powerful batting line-up when they take on Australia A in Hobart next week, with the in-form Usman Khawaja eager to secure a return to the Test side for the Ashes.

The Pakistan-born batsman has another chance to stake his claim after struggling in the Ashes series in England earlier this year before re-discovering his touch in domestic one-day matches.

Moises Henriques, the New South Wales all-rounder, leads the XI with Glenn Maxwell, the spin bowling all-rounder, appointed his vice-captain.

“We have struck a balance in what we think is the appropriate Australia A team to face England, while ensuring individuals have a solid preparation and chance to impress,” said John Inverarity, the Australian chief selector.

“All of the top six batsmen have shown good form of late and will be looking to impress against a quality opposition as they strive for higher honours.”

Shaun Marsh, who scored a century on his Test debut for Australia in 2011, will also be looking to impress in the four-day match starting on November 6.

Ali De Winter will coach the side with Graeme Hick, the former England batsman, as his assistant.

England face a second string Western Australia chairman’s XI in their opening tour match from Thursday in Perth due to clashes with domestic fixtures.

sports@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Al Ahli's Ismail Al Hammadi, left, battles for the ball during the Arabian Gulf Cup final between against Al Jazira at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on April 19, 2014. Al Hammadi hit the game-winner in the 81st minute for Ahli. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli maintain course for domestic treble with victory over Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup

Al Ahli maintained their hopes of a domestic treble with a superb comeback victory against Al Jazira in the Arabian Gulf Cup final on Saturday night.

 Alex Kacaniklic, left, of Fulham tackles Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur during their Premier League match at White Hart Lane on April 19, 2014, in London, England. Clive Rose / Getty Images

Tottenham keep pace in chase for European places with victory over Fulham

Swansea appear to be safe after rallying past Newcastle while Crystal Palace continue their winning streak

 On a track described as a ‘tyre-killer’ in Shanghai, Lewis Hamilton went untested on his way to a 34th pole – the most by a British driver – yesterday. Carlos Barria / Reuters

Hamilton has sympathy for fans hung out to dry with wet tyre rules

The Briton takes his career's 34th pole - the most by a British driver - but sympathises it was not ideal for the ticket-paying public.

 Yuzvendra Chahal, centre, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore teammates celebrate after the bowlers set up an easy win over Mumbai Indians. Pawan Singh / The National

Bowlers set up Bangalore as Patel stand tall over Mumbai

Mumbai bowlers gave early hope but Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers' unbeaten stand of 99 ensures second defeat for the men in blue in Dubai.

 Roelof Kotzee is leading UAE to unchartered territory. Sarah Dea / The National

UAE step into the unknown ahead of Asian Five Nations

Performance manager Roelof Kotze will give 12 players their first experience of international rugby, but there is also minimal information on Singapore ahead of first Test in Dubai on Wednesday, reports Paul Radley.

 Novak Djokovic of Serbia winces in pain during his semi-final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 19, 2014. Federer prevailed to set up an all-Swiss final with Stanislas Wawrinka. SEBASTIEN NOGIER / EPA

Ailing Djokovic will ‘just rest now’ while Nadal not pressing the panic button

Djokovic says only rest will help is injured right wrist after he falls to Roger Federer on Saturday, and Nadal suffers just his third career defeat in Monte Carlo when he slumped to a shock 7-6, 6-4 quarter-final loss to compatriot Ferrer on Friday.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National