Pune, Mar 28: Australian captain Michael Clarke will make his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut this season as he was signed by Pune Warriors for the fifth edition. He has been roped in as Yuvraj Singh's replacement.
It will be a huge boost for the Sourav Ganguly-led team after losing their premier player Yuvraj for this season. Clarke was in talks with Pune and has finally agreed to play.
"We are thrilled to have Michael Clarke on board. The reigning Australian skipper is one of the world"s best cricketers. His presence in the side, and cricketing proficiency, will boost the prospects of Pune Warriors India in the DLF IPL 2012," Sushanto Roy, Managing Director, Sahara Adventure Sports Ltd, said.
Australia are currently touring West Indies. However, Clarke had to miss the ODI leg of the trip due to a hamstring injury. He has landed in the Caribbean on Monday and is expected to lead the Test team. The first of the three Tests between Australia and West Indies, starts on April 7. The final Test is set to start on April 23, which means Clarke will not be available for the first half of the IPL tournament. IPL 5 will get under way in Chennai on April 4.
"Clarke was exceptional in the recent Test series against India, as batsman and captain. He is a very popular cricketer in India, and followers of the sport are eagerly looking forward to his participation in the DLF IPL 2012," said Rajeev Shukla, the IPL Chairman.