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Hope I dont make mistakes of 2008 monkeygate again: Clarke

Melbourne: One of the central figures of the 2008 monkeygate scandal involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds, Australian captain Michael Clarke now wishes he had not made the mistakes which aggravated tensions between his side and the visiting Indians.

Clarke was caught at slip off his glove, during the match but didn’t walk and was eventually ruled not out during the tense win over India, which became infamous for the racism row that erupted between Symonds and Harbhajan after the former accused the latter of calling him a monkey.

Harbhajan was eventually cleared of the racial abuse charges and Clarke was among the players criticised for their role during the match.

“There are certain players in both teams who look back on what happened there and wish it didn’t happen,” Clarke told ’The Daily Telegraph’

“But you learn from that. There are so many things in your life that you learn from. For me as a player that’s one of them. I was caught at slip off my glove and didn’t walk. It’s an area where I look back now and wonder ‘what were you thinking’. It was clearly off my glove. I do like to wait until the umpire gives me out but when it’s clear like that, get off the field. I’ve learnt from that. Hopefully I don’t make the same mistake again,” Clarke added.

But Clarke said the animosity of that incident has long vanished, courtesy the IPL.

“It (IPL) has built relationships between players, no doubt. Guys play against each other, and then go to IPL, and play with each other. I think that’s great for the game,” said Clarke.

Talking about Australia’s future amid the continuous slide that has followed the retirement of greats such as Steve Waugh, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, “I still see Ricky as the number one batsman in our team and I think your number one batsman should bat at number three,” Clarke said.

“We’ve got a lot of improving to do,” said Clarke. .

“Individually we want to become better players, and it is going to be challenging times as the captain of this team, no doubt.”

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