Michael Clarke to retire from ODIs after World Cup final
Australian captain Michael Clarke has decided to retire from One-Day International (ODI) cricket after tomorrow’s World Cup final against New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Clarke’s decision isn’t totally out of the blue considering the fact that he has been plagued by back and hamstring problems pretty much right through his career.
Speaking ahead of the marquee clash against the Black Caps, the 33-year-old said: "Tomorrow will be my last ODI game for Australia. I've just spoken to my team-mates, spoken to James Sutherland and Rod Marsh and Darren Lehmann and informed them that tomorrow will be my last ODI game for Australia.”
Clarke took over the ODI captaincy from Ricky Ponting right after Australia’s quarter-final exit in the 2011 World Cup, giving him adequate time to prepare for this World Cup, and he believes it is only fair he gives the next captain the same opportunity as it would be unrealistic to expect him to carry on till the 2019 World Cup.
"I think it is the right time for me and the Australian team. I was very fortunate four years ago to get the opportunity to captain this one-day team. That was really good preparation for me leading up to this World Cup, I think the next Australian captain deserves the same opportunity. I don't think it is realistic that I'll be fit and healthy and available to play the next World Cup so I believe it is the right time.
"I think I'll leave the one-day game for the Australian team in a better place than when I took over the captaincy. Last World Cup we were knocked out in the quarter-final, this World Cup we have been able to make the final and hopefully tomorrow we can go on and have success in that final. So two finals and one quarter-final for my time in World Cups.”
While Clarke won’t be seen in coloured clothing for Australia anymore, he has no plans of quitting Test cricket anytime soon with him hopeful that his ODI retirement will enable him to extend his Test career.
"I'm hopeful it will prolong my Test career as well. That's obviously a priority for me, to continue to be successful in the Test format. I think by walking away from one-day cricket it probably gives me my best opportunity."