Clarke to miss pre-Ashes tour

AUSTRALIA’S preparations for the forthcoming Ashes series against England have been plunged into chaos with captain Michael Clarke forced to pull out of this month’s warm-up tour to India.

The 32-year-old has suffered with a lower back injury for the majority of his career and, following a long summer of action against England, will miss the Baggy Greens limited overs series which finishes less than three weeks before the first Ashes Test starts in Brisbane.

With “extensive rehabilitation” required, Clarke has been replaced in the squad for the seven one-day internationals by middle-order batsman Callum Ferguson.