rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Cricket » When Clarke thought he had played his last game of cricket...

When Clarke thought he had played his last game of cricket...

February 13, 2015 09:26 IST

‘I will cherish every day I play for Australia, but life will go on when those days are over’

‘I can't tell you how good it felt to put on that Australian one-day uniform’

Michael Clarke

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke arrives prior to the Opening Ceremony ahead of the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Michael Clarke thought he had played his last game of cricket when he strained his hamstring again during the Adelaide Test against India but will have no misgivings about retiring when his time comes, the Australia captain has said.

On the comeback from hamstring surgery, Clarke will miss the World Cup opener against England in Melbourne on Saturday but is confident he will pad up for the second match against Bangladesh on February 21.

Michael Clarke

Australia captain Michael Clarke reacts after getting injured. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

"Scans confirmed I had torn my hamstring after the last day of the Adelaide Test -- and I thought I might have just played my last game of cricket," Clarke wrote on Friday in his News Ltd column.

"I had just suffered my fourth hamstring injury in six months and my back was flaring up.

"I had also just scored a century in memory of my little brother, Phillip Hughes, in a winning Test side.

"If that was to be the end, I thought, I would have no regrets."

Michael Clarke of Australia

Michael Clarke of Australia rests between overs. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Clarke said his attitude to the game changed in 2007 after his father fell ill with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"It made me realise that, in the grand scheme of life, cricket was just a game and I had been incredibly blessed to have had the career and experiences I've had," he said.

"I will cherish every day I play for Australia, but life will go on when those days are over."

Clarke's race to be fit for the February 14 - March 29 World Cup has been something of a soap opera, with selectors giving him a deadline to be fit for the Bangladesh match or miss out on playing the tournament on home soil altogether. An ultimatum that many pundits have criticised as draconian.

Australia captain Michael Clarke is congratulated by Steven Smith

Australia captain Michael Clarke is congratulated by Steven Smith after completing his hundred on Day 2 of the first Test against India at the Adelaide Oval in December 2014. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

But Clarke said he was never concerned about getting fit in time for the tournament.

"My first thought after coming out of hospital wasn't about meeting the World Cup deadline. It was about getting my body right -- whether that took six weeks or six months," he said.

"But as the rehab and training evolved and I could feel the improvement in my hamstrings and back, the tournament came into view.

"I can't tell you how good it felt to put on that Australian one-day uniform against the United Arab Emirates," he added of Wednesday's final World Cup warm-up, where he top-scored with 64 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"The records will show that it was just a practice match -- but it was so much more than that to me."

Source:
© Copyright 2018 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.