After retiring as captain of Australia’s ODI team, cricketing great Michael Clarke has announced his retirement from Test cricket overnight, following Australia’s first innings of the Ashes—the quickest in Test history—as England took home the urn by one innings and 78 runs at Trent Bridge yesterday.
Speaking to Channel Nine yesterday, Clarke spoke on his own leadership of the Australian team.
“As captain of the team my performances have been nowhere near the level and the standard they need to be an Australian cricketer and to be captain.
The boys have worked hard, I don’t blame anyone in that change room. As a team we haven’t performed as well as we needed to be beat England, and as a captain I certainly haven’t led from the front.”
Clarke told ABC Grandstand that his duty as captain was to “create as positive an environment as I could for the team,” but added, “Unfortunately it hasn’t gone the way I would like it to go but like I say I made my decision last night. Now is the right time to walk away.”
This game owes me nothing, I owe it everything!
Thank you to all of the people who have supported me through good and bad times.
— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) August 8, 2015
Heading Australia through an Ashes victory, a World Cup win, leading the team through the tragic death of cricketer Phil Hughes in 2014, and finishing on a batting average of over 50, Pup has left a permanent mark on Australian cricket.
I hope this just represents the opening 15 mins to the biopic about @MClarke23‘s most amazing batting performance of all time.
— Andy Lee (@andy_lee) August 6, 2015
Clarke spoke of his love of the sport and his 13-year-long career in the Australian team on ABC Grandstand.
“I started this game at six years of age, started playing for Australia at 21, I’ve loved every minute of it. I’m extremely disappointed with losing the way we have and my own performances throughout this series.
“I made that pretty clear but I’ll cherish the great memories I’ve had over the past 13 years playing for Australia.”
ODI captain Steve Smith is likely to be Michael Clarke’s successor as Australian captain, as Pup endorsed the 26-year-old yesterday. “I think Smithy is ready,” Clarke said.
Clarke will play his 114th and final Test on August 20 at The Oval in London.
Lead image by Ryan Pierse via Getty.