||The Australia captain Michael Clarke will play in the Indian Premier League for the first time after agreeing to join Pune Warriors.
Clarke had previously shunned the riches of the IPL to concentrate on playing for his country.
The 30-year-old will miss the opening three weeks of the fifth IPL to captain Australia in their three-Test series in the West Indies before making his debut in the Twenty20 tournament.
"We are thrilled to have Michael Clarke on board," said Sushanto Roy, the managing director of Pune's owners, Sahara Adventure Sports Ltd. "The reigning Australian skipper is one of the world's best cricketers. His presence in the side, and cricketing proficiency, will boost the prospects of Pune Warriors India in the DLF IPL 2012."
Clarke had revealed he was in discussions with Pune before he flew out to join the Australia team in the Caribbean at the weekend.
"Clarke was exceptional in the recent Test series against India, as batsman and captain," the IPL chairman, Rajeev Shukla, said.
"He is a very popular cricketer in India, and followers of the sport are looking forward to his participation."
Clarke joins an already strong-looking Pune side led by the former India captain Sourav Ganguly and also including the South African Graeme Smith, India's Yuvraj Singh and Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka.