Clarke quits NZ tour due to 'personal reasons'

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Vice-captain Michael Clarke quit Australia's cricket tour of New Zealand for undisclosed personal reasons and has returned to his Sydney home.

Updated: March 09, 2010 17:24 IST
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Michael 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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