Injured Oz vice-captain Clarke ruled out of Champions Trophy

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Johannesburg, Sep.29 (ANI): Australian vice-captain Michael larke has been ruled out of the ongoing Champions Trophy because f a back problem.

Clarke has experienced back soreness since the end of the tour of ngland and missed Australia's first two pool games, against the est Indies and India.

Australia are unsure why his latest bout of back soreness has ragged on for over a week and hope the rest will make him ready im for October's one-day tour of India.

"It's disappointing to lose one of your better players and your ice-captain, but the guys who have played the last couple of ames have done a pretty good job so we've just got to look at hat we've got," Fox Sports quoted captain Ricky Ponting, as aying.

Australia's wash-out with India on Monday means Ponting's side three points) can be eliminated if they lose to Pakistan (four), lus India (one) thrash the West Indies in Wednesday's day-ighter.

"We know what we have to do, which is win the game," Ponting aid.

"We're probably a little bit disadvantaged in the fact that India nd the West Indies are playing later in the day and if we don't appen to win the game, India will know exactly what they have to o to get their run-rate ahead of ours.

"There's nothing we can do about it, but I'm pretty confident we an beat Pakistan anyway even though they're playing pretty well t the moment."

Clarke, 28, has a history of back problems and Australia hysiotherapist Alex Kountouris felt the latest bout was due to a ulging disc.

Clarke cannot bend down without experiencing pain, but Kountouris uled out surgery.

"Surgery is usually for people who have a lot of leg pain and onths and months of debilitating back pain before you'd consider oing down that path," he said.

"At this stage we're just trying to get him up for the next tour of India) and he may or may not get up for that."

Clarke's soreness is also a blow for New South Wales, as he is in oubt to represent his state in the inaugural Champions League wenty20 tournament, also in October.

He is the second injured Australia player sent home from this ournament, after paceman Nathan Bracken left last week because is degenerative knee condition flared.

The selectors will discuss a possible replacement, but Australia do have a reserve batsman in Adam Voges. (ANI)

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