Cricket - Our focus is on Champions Trophy not Ashes, says Clarke

The Ashes will be playing at the back of every Australian cricketer's mind but captain Michael Clarke wants them to focus on the immediate job in hand - the Champions Trophy.

Reuters
Cricket - Our focus is on Champions Trophy not Ashes, says Clarke
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Michael Clarke is confident he will be back to lead Australia in the Ashes series

Clarke and his men left for the United Kingdom on Sunday, embarking on a long tour starting with next month's Champions Trophy to be followed by five tests against Ashes rivals England from July 10.

"We know already that if you are not 100 percent focused, you've got no chance," Clarke told reporters at Sydney airport, dwelling on Australia's chances of a Champions Trophy hat-trick.

"I think you'll see a really focused one-day outfit in this Champions Trophy tournament.

"Obviously the build-up and the talk is going to be about the Ashes, but for us as a team we're very focused on the Champions Trophy," added Clarke, whose team begin their campaign against hosts England on June 8.

England hold the Ashes after a convincing 3-1 away series win in 2010-11 and Australia's chances of wresting it back do not look especially bright following their recent 4-0 drubbing in India.

Clarke wants his team to do well in the Champions Trophy and carry forward the momentum.

"I think the extra motivation if we can have success in this one-day tournament, and drag that confidence and momentum into the first test, I think that will be very handy," he said.

"We've got a really good squad and some good options to win the Champions Trophy and I'm confident if we can play our best we can have some success in this tournament."

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