SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Former Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke has withdrawn from a lucrative domestic Twenty20 contract as he reassesses whether he will ever play the sport again.
Clarke retired from all international cricket after Australia lost the Ashes to England last month, with Alastair Cook’s side wrapping up a series victory after the fourth test before Australia won the final match in London. “Right now for me, I just think my body and my mind need some time away from the game of cricket… and just see what that’s like to be without it,” Clarke told Australia’s Triple M radio from London yesterday.
Clarke was taking a break in Europe with his wife, who is expecting their first child, and that had given him the opportunity to take stock of his future, he added.
“Kyly and I are going to go away for a week or so before I fly back home. And that’s just going to give me some time to have a think about what I’m going to do when I get home.
“I haven’t had a chance to press stop and have a think about things. “Now I’ve finally got that opportunity I just want to make the most of that and spend some time with her and have a really good think.
“I’m really hopeful that love and passion that I’ve always had for the game will come back.”
Clarke, who would have teamed up with controversial former England batsman Kevin Pietersen at the Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL), added he still had the opportunity of pursuing the second year of his contract.
“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, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to help the club have success in another way.”
Clarke, who played 115 tests for Australia, battled chronic back problems throughout his career, which became difficult to manage in the past two years and struggled with hamstring problems due to the back injury. He struggled with the bat since returning after surgery earlier this year and was woefully out of form on the Ashes tour.