Clarke to retire after final Ashes Test

Clarke to retire after final Ashes Test

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Australia captain Michael Clarke, described by Cricket Australia (CA) as one of the “all-time greats”, will retire after the final Ashes Test against England this month.Clarke announced his decision to quit international cricket after England won the fourth Test at Trent Bridge by an innings and 78 runs on Saturday to regain the Ashes.
“I want to play the last Test at The Oval and give it one more crack. The time is right,” said the 34-year-old, who stepped down from one-day internationals in March.“You never want to walk away. My performances over the past 12 months have not been acceptable to me.”Test cricket is about the Ashes. We tried our best, I certainly tried my best, but we got outplayed.”Clarke has played 114 Tests and scored over 8,000 runs, including 28 centuries.”I certainly don’t want to jump ship and leave the boys now,” he said. “I pride myself on leading from the front so (my form has) been disappointing.”One-day cricket is about the World Cup, Test cricket is about the Ashes. We got outplayed, we got beaten.”It’s time for the next generation of players, the next captain, to have his opportunity to try to build the team again and get them ready for the next Ashes series.”Clarke revealed that he made the decision to retire from Test cricket on Friday evening.
“I felt my performances weren’t as good as I wanted them to be,” he said.”The decision is never easy. I started playing this great game at six years of age. I’m 34. I wish I could play for another 30 years.”
Cook tribute England captain Alastair Cook paid tribute to his Australian counterpart.”To Michael from the England team you were a fantastic player, fantastic leader,” Cook said. “You should be remembered as a great captain.”CA chairman Wally Edwards acknowledged Clarke’s contribution to the team.
“When Michael made his stunning Test debut in Bangalore back in 2004, Australian cricket knew it had found a very special talent,” Edwards said in an Australian Cricket Board statement.”He was earmarked as a future leader and as his reputation grew it was clear that he was the right man to one day captain Australia.”Throughout his captaincy, he has been a thoroughly professional player, a brave and daring leader who has given his all for our country.”Edwards praised Clarke’s handling of the death of his close friend and former team mate Phillip Hughes last year after he was struck on the head while batting in a domestic match.”His innings against India in Adelaide last summer stands as one of the most memorable and emotional episodes in the history of Australian sport,” Edwards said.”His leadership throughout that tragic time was a mark of his character.”He leaves the game as one of our all-time greats and as an excellent example to young Australians about what they can achieve through dedication to their chosen craft.”

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