'My legacy is what my teammates think of me'
‘I've always put the team first’
‘Decision to retire was taken 48 hours back’
Set to retire from one-day cricket after Sunday's World Cup final against New Zealand, Michael Clarke said that his legacy as Australia's ODI captain will be determined by what his teammates thought of him and his conduct after team-mate Phillip Hughes passed away in November last.
Clarke, who has been quite emotional of late post Hughes' death, was calmness personified as the pre-World Cup final media interaction turned out into a retirement conference.
He fielded each and every query, stating that there was ‘no pressure on him’ and the ‘decision to retire was taken 48 hours back’ and how he still maintained that ultimate pinnacle for Australian sportsman is to "represent the country in Test cricket".
The most quotable of his quotes was that "the game owes me nothing and I owe the game everything."
Asked to define his legacy as he prepares for his final hurrah in ODIs at the MCG on Sunday, Clarke said, "I think your legacy is dictated by what your teammates think of you, to be honest.
"I think I've shown through my career in any format that I've always put the team first. I think a lot of my legacy will be based around what happened recently off the field with my little brother (Hughes)," said Clarke who will continue to play Test cricket.
For Clarke, the World Cup final is a special occasion but it does not add to the fact that he will be calling time on his limited overs international career.
"I will train no harder today. I will study New Zealand no harder than I did last time we played them. I will sleep no worse tonight than I ever do. I'll be no less nervous before I walk out to bat. The feeling is exactly the same. It is special, and I've been fortunate enough to play in two previous World Cups and win one of those. So I know what the feeling is like," said the New South Wales man who turns 34 on April 2.