Ashes - Clarke warned umpire Dar: Don't touch me

Michael Clarke was left to reflect on a tetchy confrontation with umpire Aleem Dar after bad light stopped him becoming the first Australia captain in history to go down 4-0 in England.

PA Sport
Ashes - Clarke warned umpire Dar: Don't touch me
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Australia's captain Michael Clarke (C) talks with umpires Aleem Dar (L) and Kumar Dharmasena (2L) before the umpires stop play (AFP)

Clarke won plenty of admirers with his bold declaration on day five of the fifth and final Ashes Test - gamely setting England 227 to win in 44 overs - but it almost backfired as the hosts came desperately close to reeling in the target.

They required 21 from four overs when Dar and Kumar Dharmasena ordered the teams off, denying a baying crowd the finale they craved.

Clarke, who had been in near constant discussion with the officials asking about the light situation, exchanged heated views with Dar at times and appeared unhappy with how the exchange unfolded.

"I can't remember what I said to him but I remember Aleem touching me, and I asked him politely to not touch me because if I touched him I'd be suspended for three matches," said Clarke.

"I just asked the question why we haven't got the meter out there and it took a few overs to get it out.

"That's all I can remember, coincidentally.

"From my point of view I have no issue, I just know a player is not allowed to touch an umpire...but for me personally I have no issue with it."

There was widespread disappointment - albeit not shared by the tourists - when the game was cut off so close to an unforgettable result, but Clarke suggested the abandonment could have come even earlier if previous light readings had been adhered to.

He said: "Once they took the reading, I knew it was going to be darker than what it was in Manchester (when they came off in the third Test).

"I was batting at the time in Manchester and I knew it was going to be darker than what it was in Manchester.

"There was no comparison. I'm not going to get into the numbers (on the meters). I will probably get in trouble for it so I won't go into the number.

"For us, we just have to go by the umpires' call. If they think it is safe to keep playing then we keep playing.

"When you can see your own shadows, just going on what's happened in the past throughout this series, you know it's getting to around that time when umpires have consistently taken us off the field."

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