Michael Clarke: Australia captain to miss England World Cup opener

Michael Clarke bowls during the one-day international World Cup warm-up cricket match between Australia and the UAE in Melbourne (11 February 2015)
At one point Michael Clarke's injuries became so grave he thought his career was in jeopardy

Australia captain Michael Clarke will not play against England in their World Cup opener on Saturday.

Team coach Darren Lehmann said Clarke would, however, be likely to be fit enough to play in Australia's second game, against Bangladesh in Brisbane on 21 February.

Throughout his career Clarke, 33, has been plagued by injuries.

He has suffered persistent hamstring trouble and was ruled out of the recent Test series with India to have surgery.

Clarke made a half century on Wednesday, captaining Australia for the first time in two months as they won their final World Cup warm-up against the United Arab Emirates.

Michael Clarke of Australia hits a boundary against the UAE (11 February 2015)
Michael Clarke was troubled by injury throughout 2014

Lehmann said Clarke had "pulled up really well" but would not play in the match in Melbourne on Saturday (03:30 GMT).

"We're really happy with his progress," added Lehmann. "We're going to stick with the plan and he's going to play against Bangladesh."

Clarke suffered two injuries to his left hamstring in 2014 before tearing his right while fielding in the first Test against India on 13 December.

He even went so far as to suggest the injury may end his career.

But, by 24 December, he stated his desire to be fit for the World Cup - being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand - and returned to action in grade cricket on 31 January.

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Michael Clarke's injuries in 2014

1 March: Sustains a fractured shoulder after being hit by South Africa bowler Morne Morkel while hitting 161 not out in the third Test in Cape Town

31 August: Suffers a recurrence of a left hamstring injury while batting against Zimbabwe and returns home from the one-day tri-series. The injury, initially triggered by the long-haul flight to Zimbabwe, rules him out of the one-day series against Pakistan in October, though he returns for the Tests

14 November: Injures the same hamstring in the first one-day international against South Africa in Perth

9 December: Retires hurt on 60 with a back injury before tea on the opening day of the first Test against India in Adelaide. He later returns to complete a century

13 December: Limps off the field on the final day of the first Test against India holding his right hamstring and misses the rest of the series

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