Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke, speaking publicly for the first time since abruptly quitting the ongoing tour of New Zealand and the subsequent break-up with fiancee Lara Bingle, today hoped the episode will not distract him from the upcoming Test series.
Clarke, who cited personal reasons for abruptly quitting the ODI series and flew back to Sydney to meet Bingle, has
defended his decision and said he had also received some timely advice from Australian spin great Shane Warne.
"I have spoken to Warney. I've spoken to a lot of my friends and my family. He's been a wonderful friend of mine
for a long time and he was excited to see me back in New Zealand and wished me all the best for Friday's Test match,"
Clarke said at a press conference at the Westpac Stadium here.
"I made the decision firstly to go home but then to come back to New Zealand knowing that there was a big Test match
starting on Friday.
"I knew I'd be capable to get up for that. Preparation has been very important to me throughout my whole career and
it's no different now. Yesterday it was important to get back in the nets and have a good bat, see that red ball," he said.
Clarke also said that it was "very important" at that point of time to go back home and deal with the relationship
"It's part of what we do. Being a professional athlete it's not just about what you do on the field it's what you do
off the field as well," Clarke said.