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01st-Feb-2015

Clarke denies rift with Australian teammates

By AFP, Sydney

Australian captain Michael Clarke on Saturday rejected speculation about a rift with teammates as he battles for fitness ahead of the World Cup.
Speaking as he returned to the field for a grade cricket match, Clarke said the six-and-a-half weeks he had spent recuperating from hamstring surgery had not driven a wedge between him and the squad.
"It certainly hasn't been for me, it seems like it might have been for a few other people and I'm not talking about my teammates or the Cricket Australia staff," said Clarke.
Clarke was forced to bow out after the first Test against India in December with the serious hamstring injury, with Steve Smith filling in as captain for the three remaining Tests.
Reports have suggested that the team have taken to Smith's style, while speculation that Clarke wants to have a strong say in when he is ready to return to the team has caused friction with Cricket Australia.
"I'm not going to get into it," Clarke told reporters.
"It seems like some people in particular are going to write what they want to write.