Nottingham: Australia captain Michael Clarke said on Saturday he “hadn’t led from the front” as he announced he would retire from international cricket after this month's fifth Ashes Test against England at The Oval.
Australian captain Michael Clarke looks down from the pavilion balcony after England retained the Ashes on Day Three of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge yesterday
The 34-year-old made his announcement after England completed a crushing innings and 78 run victory over Australia in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge to take an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match Ashes series.
“I will have one more Test and that is the end of my career,” said Clarke during the post-match presentation ceremony. “I am retiring from international cricket. I don’t want to jump ship now so I will have one more go at The Oval,” he added after reports in Australian media earlier Saturday that he was about to end his Australia career.
The fifth Test starts at The Oval, in south London on August 20. Clarke, one of the best batsmen of his generation, but plagued by a longstanding back problem and more recent hamstring trouble, is in a desperate run of form, having reached 25 just six times in his last 30 Test innings.
“There’s no doubt I’ll always hold myself accountable, my performances haven’t been anywhere they need to be,” said Clarke. “I don’t blame anyone in the changing room, but I haven’t led from the front. I started this great game at six years of age and I think it’s the right time to walk away now.
When I first came into the team, I had 11 older brothers helping me get into a position where I can help the team and hopefully I’ve done that.”
‘Spoke to Warnie’
He added: “About 7:30pm last (Friday) night I spoke to my beautiful wife (Kyly) and my best mate in Warnie (Shane Warne). They both 100 percent supported my decision.”
Clarke has made 28 Test centuries, one short of Australia batting great Donald Bradman’s tally, in his 114-match career. England captain Alastair Cook hailed his opposite number by saying: “To Michael from the England team you were a fantastic player, fantastic leader. You should be remembered as a great captain.”