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Is Michael Clarke set to dump Lara Bingle?

Updated: 10 Mar 2010
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A distressed-looking Lara Bingle on the balcony of her and Michael Clarke's home at Bondi Beach

 

Bingle snaps and gives the finger to the media camped outside the flat. She and Clarke were holed up inside the flat all day

 

Lara Bingle, right, arrives at her apartment block at Bondi last night

 

Fans react to Clarke's surprise walkout on Australia's New Zealand tour. Picture: Christine Cornege

 

CRICKETER Michael Clarke has returned to Sydney to decide if he should continue his relationship with fiancee Lara Bingle.

The glamour couple's future is at the crossroads with Clarke "confused and lost" and poised to call off his two-year engagement to the 22-year-old model.

Clarke flew into Sydney yesterday morning after he was given indefinite leave from the Australian team's tour of New Zealand and remained holed up with Bingle at the couple's $6 million Bondi Beach apartment.

Last night it appeared Bingle and Clarke were keeping some distance from each other as they worked through their relationship. Bingle was spotted returning home in a black Mercedes sports car just before 10pm.

The car, driven by a female friend and with Clarke nowhere to be seen, sped off without entering the complex after they saw media crews.

 

About 20 minutes later a black 4WD drove into the couple's carpark. It was unclear if Clarke was among the group of three men inside.

Earlier in the day, Bingle ventured on to her balcony looking dishevelled and upset.

Clarke is expected to fly back in time for Australia's Test series against the Kiwis next week but wants to resolve his future with Bingle before he returns.

Last night, fashion sources said Bingle had confided she was resigned to the likelihood of Clarke asking her to move out. All Clarke's manager Chris White would say was: "Michael has come home to support Lara through this tough time."

Sources close to Clarke said he was increasingly distressed and angry about the spotlight on his life, which has intensified since Bingle paired up with celebrity agent Max Markson.

Clarke's decision to fly home only added to media interest that has boomed since The Daily Telegraph published photos of the couple apparently arguing at the SCG recently.

The Brendan Fevola nude photo scandal is understood to be the last straw and Bingle's decision to sell her side of the story a week later to Woman's Day for $200,000 is believed to have tipped Clarke over the edge.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting and coach Tim Nielsen had no hesitation in allowing Clarke indefinite leave.

"He has gone home sorting out some personal stuff.," Ponting said last night after Australia won in Hamilton.

"He knows from all of us within the team that he has got all the support that he needs. I said to him last night before he left ... to take as much time as he needed."

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The recent publicity fuelled speculation about Bingle's private life - including links to friends John Ibrahim, Taj Burrow and DJ Carl Kennedy.

Former Test cricketer Mark Waugh said Clarke's relationship with Bingle has had an effect on his cricket and he was "sure Michael would like a quieter life".

 

SOURCE: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

 

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