Michael Clarke withdraws from Australia's Big Bash League
Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke has withdrawn from the Big Bash League, ESPNCricinfo reports. The 34-year-old, who was set to skipper the Melbourne Stars franchise in Australia’s premier T20 competition, has confirmed the move stating that he needed some time away from the game.
Clarke retired from international cricket as one of Australia’s greatest ever Test batsman at the end of the recently concluded Ashes series in which Australia lost to England 3-2. He has been struggling off late with injuries and having brought an end to an 12-year career at the top of the game, Clarke has decided to take an indefinite break from the game.
"Right now for I just think my body and my mind need some time away from the game of cricket," Clarke told Triple M radio on Wednesday. "It's been a big part of my life and I just think that with my retirement from international cricket now I just need to take myself away from the game of cricket for a little while and just see what that's like to actually be without it.”
Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman, and another of the game’s all-time greats, also retired from international cricket after the 2nd Test against India, but featured for English county side Surrey a few days later. Clarke though is not thinking along the same lines.
"You push yourself to the max when you're playing sport at the highest level and now I've pressed stop on that part, in regards to international cricket, I just think my body and my mind just needs that break," he said.
Clarke signed a two-year contract with the Melbourne-based franchise in April and was expected to be the side’s star attraction. He understands that the officials and fans would be disappointed with his decision and is ready to face the repercussions but added that he would like to play for the team in the 2016-17 season.
“I've got a two-year deal at the moment so hopefully it all turns out okay and I come back and play next year," Clarke said. “But even if they decide they don't want me to play, hopefully, I can help the club have success in another way."
Clarke has previously hinted that he would like to carry on playing domestic cricket either back home and even suggested that he would like to try his luck once again in the Indian Premier League. He had a rather lacklustre outing for the now-defunct Pune Warriors in the 2012-13 season, his only appearance in India’s premier T20 competition, so far.