Clarke available for Pune only in May

Clarke available for Pune only in May

Australia skipper Michael Clarke is a huge catch for Pune Warriors, led and mentored by Sourav Ganguly, but he would be available to play in the Indian Premier League's fifth edition - starting on April 4 - only in May.

Till April 27 the classy Australian middle-order batsman, nicknamed 'Pup', would be busy leading his country against the West Indies in the three-Test series that concludes at Providence Stadium in Guyana.

Pune Warriors' next game after the end of the Australia-West Indies Test rubber is slated for May 1 against Deccan Chargers at Hyderabad and Clarke would have enough time to fly into India and make his IPL debut.

The 30-year-old, who was in tremendous form against India in the last Test rubber Down Under, would be available to play for his Indian franchise outfit in six other matches.

He is due to play the home game against Mumbai Indians on May 3, the away tie against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 5, the home games against Rajasthan Royals on May 8 and Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 11, the return game in Jaipur against the Royals on May 13 and the second leg tie against Kolkata Knight Riders in Pune on May 19.

Significantly, the right-handed bowler, who bowls slow left-arm orthodox spin occasionally, retired from the T20 format at the international level after Australia's humiliating Ashes loss to England in January 2011 to concentrate on Tests and ODIs.

It remains to be seen how successful he turns out in filling up the huge gap left in the Warriors' ranks by the unwell Yuvraj Singh in the shortest format.