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Channel Nine defends Clarke’s role as commentator

Sydney, Jan 2: Australian broadcaster Channel Nine has dismissed the criticism of injured Australian skipper Michael Clarke turning commentator for the third and fourth Tests against India, terming the negativity as "petty".

Clarke sought permission from Cricket Australia to commentate during the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne and the fourth Test at Sydney, beginning Jan 6 as he recovers from hamstring surgery and bids to be fit for the World Cup.

Questions were raised whether he should be commentating on players while remaining the Australian captain, with critics harping on the appropriateness of the move. They suggested it would be unethical for Clarke to voice his reactions and comments that could put undue pressure on stand–in captain Steven Smith.

"Why shouldn’t he commentate?" Brad Mcmara, the channel’s director of cricket, was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday.

"Every day he does a press conference and he’s asked similar questions. As part of his role as Australian captain when he’s playing he’s basically asked for comment on a day–by–day basis. We don’t see the difference, to be honest."

Mcmara said that the channel would be careful not to put Clarke into an uncomfortable position by asking him uneasy questions. "Obviously, we were reasobly careful not to put him a position with anything that was too controversial, not that I think he would have backed down from that," he said. IANS

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