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Michael Clarke Bids Farewell to International Cricket

Michael Clarke, a tremendous talent, a creative batsman, and a dedicated player, played his final international match on August 20, 2015, as he bid farewell to the sport he had played for nearly 13 years. Clarke was captain at the time, and he led Australia to a 3-2 loss to England in the final match of the 2015 Ashes series.

Clarke revealed in a news conference that he is hanging up his boots and retiring from international cricket after the fifth Test against England after the hosts took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. Clarke’s retirement announcement stunned the cricketing world. After Day 2 of the fourth Test, the Australian captain told Channel 9 that he would have “one last match.” The batsman felt it was time to retire because his performances were no longer “acceptable” to him, and he wanted the next generation to take over.

Led Australia to lift the coveted urn in the 2013 Ashes

Clarke took over as captain after Ricky Ponting stepped down in 2011 and delivered for Australia. Following back-to-back Ashes losses in England (2005 & 2009), Clarke led Australia to the coveted urn in the 2013 Ashes series in England, followed by Australia’s World Cup victory in 2015. Clarke played a key role in Australia reclaiming the No. 1 Test ranking in 2014, after winning the series in Proteas.

Clarke took over as Ponting’s deputy for three years, picking up where the then captain left off, but with the trophies and wins came the defeats. Australia won four of nine international series under Clarke’s captaincy. Another infamous incident occurred during Clarke’s captaincy in the 2013 India series, which was dubbed “homeworkgate.” It was also the first time since 1970 that Australia had been whitewashed 4-0 by India.

A fair share of difficulties, with plenty of ups and downs

Clarke, like every other captain, had his fair share of problems and ups and downs. Clarke, on the other hand, was a key figure in Australia’s success on numerous occasions during his illustrious trophy-laden career. The swashbuckler from New South Wales made his ODI debut in January 2003 and his Test debut a year later in October 2004.

Clarke has played 115 Tests and scored 8,643 runs in his career, including 28 centuries, four double-centuries, and 27 fifties. Clarke finished his innings with a 48.83 batting average. He also tried bowling and took 31 wickets, including two fifers, with the best figure of 6/9.  Clarke has played 245 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), scoring 7,981 runs, including 8 centuries and 58 fifties. The all-rounder batsman took 57 wickets, including one fifer.

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