Michael Clarke breaks down as he confirms his international retirement
Michael Clarke confirmed in a tearful post-match ceremony that the fifth Ashes Test at the Oval from August 20 will be his last match for Australia. England captain Alastair Cook also had tears to show, but for wholly other reasons – reclaiming the urn caps off a remarkable period of revival for the English team.
Speaking to Channel Nine after the innings defeat in the 4th Test, which brought about a series loss to England, Clarke said, “I'll have one more Test and that will be the end of my career.
"I'm retiring from international cricket. I certainly don't want to jump ship and leave the boys now, so I'll play the last Test at The Oval, give it one last crack, but the time is right now."
"You never want to walk away from the game but I think my performances in this series and the last 12 months have not been acceptable to me. I pride myself on leading from the front, so that's been disappointing. You build yourself up for the big series, the big tournaments. One-day cricket is about the World Cup and Test cricket is about the Ashes.
"I certainly tried my best, the boys tried their best and we got outplayed. We got beaten. Now it's time for the next generation of players, the next captain to have his opportunity to try and build the team and get them ready for the next Ashes series."
"I've been lucky enough to play over 100 Test matches for Australia," Clarke said. "I've always said the game owes me nothing, I owe it everything. I'm thankful I've been able to play it for so long."
Trent Bridge rose to give captain Clarke’s career a standing ovation as he struggled to hold back the tears.
Clarke had made his Test debut against India in 2004, being named captain of his country after a similar Ashes humiliation had brought former captain Ricky Ponting’s career to an end in the 2010-11 edition of the historic series.
Here’s an audio clip of him announcing his retirement:
As always the timing of dhoni's retirement was superb. He didn't carry the humiliation till last test of the series. #clarke— one tip one hand (@OneTipOneHand_) August 8, 2015