: Australian captain Michael Clarke is suffering from a sore back and has been ordered to miss the opening round of the Big Bash League so he can recover for the first Test against Sri Lanka next week.

Clarke has long been troubled by lower back problems and the issue flared again after the third and final Test with South Africa in Perth that ended in defeat on Monday.

“Our medical staff has advised Michael not to play cricket this weekend,” Cricket Australia team performance manager Pat Howard said in a statement on Wednesday.

Cricket Australia has also told pace bowlers Ben Hilfenhaus and John Hastings to sit out the initial round of the domestic Twenty20 league, while Test hopeful Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out for at least one month because of a foot injury.

Australia names its squad on Thursday for the first Test against Sri Lanka starting in Hobart on December 14. — AFP

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