Triple centurion Clarke has no bat sponsorship

Australia captain Michael Clarke struck a landmark triple century at the historical Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) but for the first time in his career there was no personal sponsor sharing the glory.

Clarke smacked the Indian bowling with an unmarked lump bat, after Dunlop Slazenger pulled out of its long-term sponsorship deal.

The only visible stickers on his bat were for yesterday's McGrath Foundation Day at the SCG in aid of breast cancer research.

Clarke's new manager James Erskine revealed that Dunlop Slazenger declined to renew its contract when it expired on December 31. "I understand that Dunlop Slazenger are finding conditions tough in the current retail environment," Erskine was quoted as saying by The Australian.

"They've had to make sacrifices and unfortunately Michael's contract with the company was one of those. I'm currently in talks with several bat manufacturers and I expect to strike a new bat deal in the next three weeks," he said.

Spartan Sports, little-known sporting goods company in Wollongong has emerged as one of the favourites to sign a new bat sponsorship deal in the "high six-figures".

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