Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, is on the verge of joining Pune Warriors in the IPL. According to Sourav Ganguly, the Warriors captain, Clarke is close to signing a contract which would be valid for the next two seasons.
"It is more or less done," Ganguly told on Clarke's deal. Ganguly, who was appointed captain for this season by the franchise in the absence of Yuvraj Singh, said having Clarke on board would bolster the Warriors in all departments on the game.
"He can bat and he can bowl. He is a big player," Ganguly said. Asked why he was interested in Clarke, who had retired from Twenty20 internationals last January to focus on the longer formats, Ganguly said Clarke had the experience and was considering a return to Twenty20 cricket once again."It is his ability," Ganguly added. "He also wants to re-start playing Twenty20 cricket."
Clarke had acknowledged that his manager was in talks with the franchise but said a decision would be arrived at in due course. Clarke landed in the Caribbean on Monday to join the Australian squad. He is still recovering from a hamstring injury suffered during the CB Series, but is expected to play in the warm-up match ahead of the three-Test series against West Indies.
Even if the deal goes through, Clarke would only feature in the second half of the Warriors' campaign, considering the West Indies tour finishes at the end of the April. Should Clarke sign with the Warriors they would be left with just one more overseas slot to fill.
Ganguly also confirmed that the franchise had opened talks with the expolosive Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal but it was too early to say anything definitive. "We are still chatting to Tamim," Ganguly said.