Michael Clarke To Coach Prime Minister's XI Against Sri Lanka In Twenty20

February 03, 2017

The Prime Minister's XI gig will be Clarke's first taste of coaching at the elite level since retiring from the international arena in 2015.

Clarke will have a mix of experience and "exciting young talent" at his disposal with the Prime Minister's XI to take on Sri Lanka in a Twenty20 at Manuka Oval on February 15.

"I played with and against quite a few players in the team during my career, including captain Adam Voges, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside him," Clarke said.

"Most importantly, this is a great opportunity for all the players in the side to perform against a strong international team.

"I think we'll be really competitive against Sri Lanka, and I know we can play an exciting brand of cricket in front of what will hopefully be a big crowd in Canberra."

Clarke was tapped on the shoulder by Cricket Australia in November and asked to either captain or coach the side, and said at the time his foray into coaching would be a "one-off" and nothing more than a chance to "help the boys out".

ICC Test team of the year member Voges will captain a squad boasting five players with international experience.

Among the five are Tasmanian skipper Bailey and Queensland batsman Joe Burns, who have both represented Australia this season in ODI and Test cricket respectively.

Fast bowlers Pattinson and Daniel Worrall have both taken the new ball for Australia and the Prime Minister's XI looms as an opportunity to get more cricket under their belts with the pair on the comeback trail from injury.

Wests-UC batsman Matthew Gilkes will fill the role of 12th man as Canberra's representative, with three more teenagers to take their place in the XI.

Young gun Will Pucovski is in the midst of his Sheffield Shield debut for Victoria having impressed at the national under 19 championships earlier this summer.

New South Wales spinner Arjun Nair is widely regarded as one of the players of the future having claimed 11 wickets in five domestic one-day matches for the Cricket Australia XI.

Seventeen-year-old batsman Jason Sangha's final year of school will kick off with a mid-February trip to Canberra in the latest step on his meteoric rise.

National talent manager Greg Chappell says the blend of youth and experience is the best way to fast track the development of Australia's best young talent.

"It's part of the pick and stretch policy we have with our young players, to keep exposing them to more challenges at the highest level possible, to help them develop their skills," Chappell said.

"We believe that playing against a touring team and sharing the dressing room with some players that have represented their country is a great learning opportunity for these young players."

A number of Australia's frontline players were unavailable with the Test squad preparing for a tour of India and other big names already readying themselves for the Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka.

The likes of BBL|06's leading wicket taker Sean Abbott, leading run scorer Ben Dunk and recent ODI hero Marcus Stoinis have all been left out of the Prime Minister's XI despite not having any international commitments.

Also missing from both the Australian and Prime Minister's XI squads are the likes of Fawad Ahmed, Scott Boland and Mark Steketee.

Prime Minister's XI squad: Adam Voges (c), D'Arcy Short (WA), George Bailey (TAS), Joe Burns (QLD), James Pattinson, Will Pucovski (VIC), Alex Carey, Daniel Worrall (SA), Arjun Nair, Jason Sangha, Henry Thornton (NSW), Matthew Gilkes (12th man, ACT). Coach: Michael Clarke


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