Clarke will head to Jamaica on May 21

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Sydney, May 17 (UNI) Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke will miss the first Test against West Indies starting on May 22 after staying home to attend funeral of the father of his fiancee Lara Bingle.

Clarke told Cricket Australia (CA ) that he will be available to travel to Jamaica on May 21.

CA's general manager Michael Brown said ''I've spoken with Michael and he has Cricket Australia's absolute support that during this difficult time it is appropriate he spends a little more time with his fiancee's family before leaving for the West Indies.'' ''He'll arrive in Kingston on May 23, which is day two of the first Test match against the West Indies. It is envisaged that if Brad Hodge is not selected in the XII for the first Test, he will be released from squad duties in the West Indies,'' he added.

Clarke said, ''I have decided to remain in Sydney for a couple of days to be with the family. I will miss the first Test and am sure the boys will serve Australia well. I am looking forward to catching up with the team and being ready to go for the second Test in Antigua (starting on May 30).'' UNI XC CS KK RAI1247

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