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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Clarke quits NZ tour for personal reasons

Clarke quits NZ tour for personal reasons

March 09, 2010 10:43 IST

michael clarke with girlfriend lara bingleMichael Clarke has abruptly quit the tour of New Zealand due to undisclosed "personal reasons" amid speculation that the Australian vice-captain has flown back home to be with his scandal-hit girlfriend.

Tasmanian batsman George Bailey will replace Clarke in the Australian ODI squad for the ongoing five-match series against New Zealand.

"Michael Clarke has returned to Australia for personal reasons for the time being," Cricket Australia (CA) said in a statement.

"Due to Clarke returning to Australia for personal reasons, the National Selection Panel has added George Bailey to the One-Day squad," National Selection Panel (NSP) Chairman Andrew Hilditch said.

Clarke's girlfriend, swimsuit model Lara Bingle, is currently at the center of a furore Down Under ever since her nude pictures, taken by an ex-boyfriend, were published by a magazine.

Bingle has sued the man, a footballer named Brendon Fevola, saying she felt violated, humiliated and betrayed.

"When I found out about it, I just felt like I had been violated. I do blame him (Fevola). It was a complete betrayal at a time of my life when I trusted him. I was vulnerable and it was a total mistake to trust him," Bingle told the magazine which published those pictures.

"I also feel exploited and compromised by the release of a photograph I never gave permission to him to take - and one he promised he had deleted when he realised how upset I was that he would do that.

"It should never have been taken in the first place. It was definitely an invasion of my privacy and I had always understood it had been deleted," she added.

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