SYDNEY: Michael Clarke has pulled out of the IPL auction - where he had a base value of US$1 million - citing Australia's busy international schedule for his decision.
Clarke was set to be among the top three picks in the auction, to held in Goa on Friday. Chennai Super Kings, last year's finalists, were expected to lead the bidding for him.
Clarke, who joins Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Broad in deciding to stay away from the IPL, made the announcement at the MCG, where the Australia team was preparing for Friday's game against New Zealand.
"Speaking with my management, my family, my fiancee and the hierarchy of the IPL and for me this year I won't be going to the IPL. There's probably a number of reasons but the most important thing for me is we've only got a couple of weeks off, we've got a really busy schedule and I just think for where I'm at with my body and that time at home it's valuable for me.
"I'd love to take part in it one day. It's just about finding the right time for me to be a part of it."
It was a tough decision, he said, which is why he took his time over it. "There's obviously a lot of great things about the IPL and that's why I say I certainly want to be a part of it at some stage. Every player is in a different position as well but for me - mentally, physically where I am - I just think those two weeks at home will be great for my to come home and see family and friends."
Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, believed Clarke opted out to avoid an embarrassment at the auction. "I don't think anybody is ready to pay that kind of price [$1m].”