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Michael Clarke  to miss Australia's first game against England

Michael Clarke has been ruled out of Australia's World Cup opener against England on Saturday.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann confirmed on Thursday that Clarke, despite showing good movement, top-scoring for Australia with 64 runs and bowling two overs in a warm-up match against the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, would not play against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Lehmann said Clarke remains on track to return for Australia's second game, against Bangladesh in Brisbane on February 21. Team medical staff have long targeted the Brisbane match for Clarke's return, but speculation had been intensifying that the Australian captain would be ready in time for the tournament opener.

"He's pulled up really well ... we're really happy with his progress," Lehmann said. "We're going to stick with the plan and he's going to play against Bangladesh."

"We had a chat, we're making sure he's 100 per cent ready to go. We're really comfortable with the decision."

Clarke, 33, had surgery on his right hamstring after being forced out of the India Test series following the first match. He has had back and hamstring issues for much of the past year.

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