Clarke maintains form in the face of personal anguish

January 11th, 2009 - 2:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Jan 11 (ANI): Australian cricketer Michael Clarke has had the best summer of his career, but he has been playing under the cloud of family anguish and concern for the people he loves most.

The great thing is hes still smiling, still loving life. Thats why I got so emotional the other day when I got that hundred (at the SCG). Just how positive dad has been has given me strength. The Daily Telegraph quoted Clarke, as saying.

He worries about father Les, whose cancer battle has now reached 627 days. He worries about fiancee Lara Bingle, and how she is coping with the loss of her own father to cancer last May.

As Clarke ponders the impact of making himself available for the IPL auction next month, aware of the void he may leave at home, its clear how much Australias vice-captain has grown as a man and as a cricketer.

Dads going OK, Clarke says. Hes got another scan in February, so Ive got my fingers crossed, Im just hoping it comes back clear. Its curable, its just a matter of where the tumours are and hopefully the chemo and the radiation treatment has got rid of them, he said.

The shaven-headed 27-year-old has found more steel and substance, enabling him to amass 1063 Test runs at 50.62 in 2008 — smashing his previous best of 596 runs in a calendar year, the paper said.

He had many reasons to crack in 2008. That he didnt, that he became stronger, tougher, more resolute, more assured, more determined and more dependable only underlines his leadership credentials.

Last May, just six weeks after Clarke proposed to Bingle in New Yorks Central Park, Graham Bingle lost his battle with liver and pancreatic cancer.

Clarke insists he is happy to bide his time as Ricky Pontings deputy, although he has picked the brains of former Test skippers Mark Taylor, Ian Chappell and Steve Waugh.

But the career-shaping chats have been with Shane Warne, the Daily Telegraph said. (ANI)

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