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Australia captain Michael Clarke will most probably play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year, however, fast bowler Mitchell Starc has snubbed the world’s richest Twenty20 tournament to keep himself fit before the all important Ashes series. Clarke is set to feature in the seven-week tournament in April and May after being listed in the IPL''s February 3 auction to be held in Chennai, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Clarke’s manager, James Erskine, said it was likely Clarke would play in the money-spinning T20 tournament, it further reported.
Erskine said Clarke playing in the IPL is not 100 per cent yet, but it''s a possibility, adding that’s what the in-form batsman thinking. The IPL tournament starts on April 3, only a week after the fourth Test against India winds up in Delhi, and the IPL final on May 26 falls 13 days before Australia starts its pre-Ashes campaign in England at the ICC Champions Trophy. If Clarke does not use the IPL window to rest, he stands to have almost no time off between now and the conclusion of the tour of England, which is the first leg of back-to-back Ashes series this year. Cricket Australia (CA) is unable to prevent players appearing in the IPL as it falls during an official leave period. However, fast bowler Starc has turned down offers of up to one million dollars in an effort to be fresh for the five-Test tour of England, the paper reported. It is believed Starc, who was the player of the tournament last year in the Champions League with the Sydney Sixers, could have earned between 750,000 dollars and one million dollar if he had entered the IPL auction