Melbourne, Mar 12 (ANI): Australian vice captain Michael Clarke runs the risk of following in spin legend Shane Warne's footsteps and never captaining Australia at the Test level because of his "not-so-private life", according to former opener Michael Slater.
Slater, the man who introduced Clarke to Lara Bingle, does not believe that "Pup" is fit to captain Australia if he continues to be bogged down in off-field drama.
He did not delve into the Bingle fiasco, but was adamant that Clarke needed to sort out his off-field dramas immediately.
"Michael Clarke cannot be captain of the Australia cricket side while his off-field life is generating the kind of headlines we have seen this week," Slater wrote in his Wide World of Sports column.
"Never before has someone as important to the side as the vice-captain asked for - and been granted permission - to leave a tour to sort out relationship issues," the Daily Telegraph quoted Slater, as saying.
"Clarke needs to get things right off the field, because he really doesn't need the distraction when he is trying to do his best for Australia out in the middle," he wrote.
Slater said nobody would have dared ask Allan Border, the captain on his first Ashes tour, to go home, and added that Ian Healy had to watch the birth of his first child via video.
However, pacer Nathan Bracken, who once left a ODI match against Sri Lanka in Perth to return to Sydney for family reasons, said Clarke's shock return "was a tough decision, but a smart one".
"And while we all know how much he loves his cricket, this decision to come home only shows how much Pup also understands family life," said Bracken. (ANI)