Melbourne, Mar 18 (ANI): Neil D'Costa, who spotted Michael Clarke as a seven-year-old and helped mould him into a cricket star, has rebutted suggestions that Lara Bingle was a negative influence on the Australian vice-captain.
Clarke will not be mentally broken by his high-profile bust-up with Lara, he said.
D'Costa has exchanged a series of text messages with Clarke in the past week, and said the soap opera would not derail his international career or planned ascension to the Test captaincy.
"Michael can now get on with his life. The question is how he will deal with it?" he said.
D'Costa said in the three years Bingle and Clarke dated the Australian vice captain scored 2604 Test runs at 56.60.
His first knock with Bingle as his partner was 145 not out against Sri Lanka. His career average before he met Bingle was 42.
"If he wasn't happy, it would have shown. When Michael was with Lara, he did well on and off the field. He won the Allan Border Medal, he has been our most consistent batsman. In that time, he represented his country with honour.
"She must have been a good influence on his life. He was a young man in love," The Daily Telegraph quoted D'Costa, as saying.
He said either Bingle was good for the cricketer or, like his close friend Shane Warne, Clarke had a rare ability to compartmentalise his public and private lives.
Clarke yesterday paid tribute to Warne, saying he had relied on his former teammate to help him through a dramatic week. (ANI)