Clarke’s return for Australia is no surprise to Haddin

Australia's captain Michael Clarke.
Australia's captain Michael Clarke.
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Australia will welcome Michael Clarke back on schedule as they attempt to make it two wins out of two at the World Cup this weekend.

There have been insinuations in some reports, during Clarke’s recovery after hamstring surgery in December, that there was not always a unity of opinion about his return.

But after two warm-up matches before this tournament began, and after George Bailey led Australia in his absence to a wide-margin opening win over England in Melbourne, he was duly cleared to take charge again when the co-hosts face Bangladesh in Brisbane tomorrow.

A miserable weather forecast is one complicating factor for the Pool A fixture between two unbeaten teams.

Veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin acknowledges that much, but is having none of the implied intrigue over Clarke’s comeback at the expense of Bailey.

“We’re not sure what we’re going to get when we pull the covers up, so the only news I can give you is that Michael is going to play,” said Haddin.

“This was the plan all along for Michael to be right for this game – I don’t know what you guys are going to do over the next couple of days, because you might have to think of some questions about the World Cup rather than Michael’s hamstring.”

England Women began their Twenty20 international series against New Zealand with an eight-wicket win in Whangarei.

Anya Shrubsole and Heather Knight set up victory with three wickets apiece as New Zealand were skittled for 60 in 19.4 overs.

Captain Charlotte Edwards hit an unbeaten 32 and steered England home with 50 balls left.

Victory was a measure of revenge for England after they lost the one-day series 2-1 to New Zealand.