Michael Clarke looks set to face fresh fallout over the Noosa scandal that saw the former Australia cricket captain filmed in an ugly verbal stoush involving his girlfriend Jade Yarbrough and Channel Nine presenter, Karl Stefanovic. Amateur footage captured Clarke in a slanging match with his girlfriend and Stefanovic, who is married to Yarbrough's sister Jasmine. In the video, Jade Yarbrough can be heard accusing Clarke of cheating on her and slapping him a number of times.
On Saturday, Queensland Police said Clarke and Yarbrough had both received fines for public nuisance. The incident has caused headlines around Australia and it was thought the 41-year-old Clarke was going to address the scandal on his return to Sydney radio on Monday morning.
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Co-host Gerard Middleton started the show by saying: “Now, of course enormous fascination into Clarkey’s life and we are just hitting this on the head straight away. “It is a private matter that Clarkey’s obviously been dealing with. A very, very private matter which unfortunately was made public. There’s a lot of factors in play here and Clarkey’s made his statement last week and due to all the factors in play we are moving forward on The Big Sports Breakfast this morning.”
Clarke largely avoided the scandal on Monday morning, leading to some scathing criticism amongst his radio colleagues, with 2GB's Ben Fordham particularly critical. Fordham said: “How cowardly can you get? He’s got a microphone in front of him, he’s sitting in a radio studio, it’s the story everyone’s talking about and Clarkey squibs it."
Michael Clarke set to lose $150,000 commentary gig
Aside from the wave of criticism Clarke has received and the public humiliation he has suffered, the 41-year-old is also now reportedly set to lose a lucrative commentary gig in India as a result of the drama. The issue has placed Clarke's commentary contract with the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India at risk, with officials there now understood to be pursuing other Australian talent in his place.
NewsCorp reports that the BCCI is set to rip up Clarke's contract - said to be worth around $150,000 - and replace him with another national cricketing icon head of Australia's highly anticipated tour of India. The Sydney Morning Herald said on Monday that “multiple senior cricket sources, who did not wish to be named in order to speak frankly” had confirmed other Aussie greats had been shortlisted to replace Clarke. The Daily Telegraph reported that Mark Waugh was the man in line to replace the former captain.
Being axed as part of the commentary team for Australia's Test tour of India - which gets underway on February 9 - no doubt represents another blow for Clarke as he faces the ramifications from the messy Noosa saga. However, the 41-year-old revealed on his radio program that he's been offered another commentary role for the Pakistan Premier League, which also gets underway on February 9 and runs until March 19.
“I’ve just been asked to commentate on the PSL, the Pakistan Premier League, and you should see the internationals they’ve got,” Clarke said on Sky’s Big Sports Breakfast. “So many overseas players are going and playing in that tournament.”
The only mention Clarke made of the Noosa scandal on his radio program on Monday was in reference to a hamstring injury he suffered in the altercation. Clarke injured his hamstring a number of times towards the end of his playing career.
"You showed us before, that bruise on your hamstring, that is incredible mate. You won’t be able to walk properly for weeks," Middleton said. Clarke responded: “Nah it’s fine buddy, it’s on the mend, I’m good to go, I’m ready, game day, good to go, on the mend."
Addressing the incident last week, Clarke told the Daily Telegraph: "I'm absolutely gutted I've put people I hold in the highest regard in this position. My actions in the lead-up to this altercation were nothing short of shameful and regrettable. I own this fully and am the only one at fault."
Clarke played 115 Test matches and 245 one-day internationals for Australia, captaining his country in both formats. His 8643 Test runs are also the fifth-highest in Australian history.
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