Clarke must sort out off-field problems before joining team: Ponting

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Sydney, Mar. 10 (ANI): Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has reportedly told Cricket Australia officials that he doesn't want vice-captain Michael Clarke back in his side until the troubled star has sorted out his off-field issues with model fiancee Lara Bingle.

Clarke quit the current one-day series in New Zealand on Monday to return to Sydney to support Bingle amid the controversy and legal drama with AFL superstar Brendan Fevola over that nude photo.

CA general manager of cricket Michael Brown was quoted by the Herald Sun, as saying that "He's (Clarke) only just arrived home, we'll give him time to make the right decisions."

"There is no point in forcing any player to go back into a cricket team when he's not comfortable because the team won't be comfortable to have him and that's the message the captain has given me. He wants Michael back 100 per cent committed to cricket, that's when he wants him back," Brown added.

Brown said Clarke was still sorting out his personal issues and CA don't know when he might be ready to return to the game.

"I've talked to (Clarke) over the last few days and I talked to him last night and we obviously have a Test tour looming with the team departing Sunday and Monday," he said.

"I would be hoping that he's part of that group, but as Ricky and I both discussed this morning, unless he's ready to go, there's no point him going. We'll talk again over the next couple of days and our intention hopefully is to get him back in time for the Test matches," Brown said.

Mike Hussey would be the man most likely to step in as vice-captain if Clarke doesn't make the tour, while Test opener and NSW skipper Simon Katich could be another option. (ANI)

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