Michael Clarke of Australia plays a leg side shot during game four of the Commonwealth Bank One Day International Series between Australia and the West Indies at Sydney Cricket Ground on February 8, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
Michael Clarke of Australia plays a leg side shot during game four of the Commonwealth Bank One Day International Series between Australia and the West Indies at Sydney Cricket Ground on February 8, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. Matt King / Getty Images

Clarke cleared of injury to play for Aussies in Ashes warm-up

THE under-fire Australian team received a boost ahead of the first of two Ashes warm-up matches, with captain Michael Clarke given the all-clear to return from a back injury.

Following a winless Champions Trophy campaign, Clarke is set to play for the Baggy Greens against Somerset in Taunton next week.

"We'd love to have him back - he's our best player, our most experienced player and our captain," top order batsman Phil Hughes said.

The out-of-form duo of Hughes and wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade will play for Australia A against Gloucestershire on Friday to maximise their preparations for the Ashes.

Meanwhile selectors yesterday named leg spinner Fawad Ahmed in a 15-man Australia A squad to tour Zimbabwe and South Africa during July and August.

The team, to be captained by NSW all-rounder Steve Smith, includes youngsters Ashton Agar, Chadd Sayers and Gurinder Sandhu.

Tasmanian gloveman Tim Paine will be the keeper.

The team will play a mix of three and four-day games, as well as a one-day triangular series against South Africa A and India A in Pretoria.



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