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Clarke to to quit ODIs after final
28 Mar 2015 13:01
Australia captain Michael Clarke will retire from one-day internationals following Sunday's World Cup final against New Zealand to give the team the best chance of winning the trophy in four years' time.
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The 33-year-old has been suffering with a back problem for some time and a hamstring injury ruled him out of Australia's World Cup build up with George Bailey and Steve Smith, the two men most likely to succeed him, both leading the side.
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And Clarke revealed during a press conference previewing the match against the Black Caps that he wanted to give his successor a full four years to prepare for 2019, just like he had when replacing Ricky Ponting in 2011.
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"I think it is the right time for me and the Australian cricket team," he said. "I was very fortunate four years ago to get the opportunity to captain this one-day team. That was really good preparation for me leading up to this World Cup and I think the next Australian captain deserves the same opportunity.
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"I don't think it is realistic that I'll be fit and healthy and available to play the next World Cup so I believe it is the right time.
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"I think I'll leave the one-day game for the Australian team in a better place than when I took over the captaincy.
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"Last World Cup we were knocked out in the quarter-final, this World Cup we have been able to make the final and hopefully tomorrow we can go on and have success in that final. So two finals and one quarter-final for my time in World Cups."
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Clarke will lead Australia in England this summer as they look to defend the Ashes they won with a whitewash in 2014 and he admitted that a desire to maintain his Test career was also behind his decision.
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"I'm hopeful it will prolong my Test career as well," he added. "That's obviously a priority for me, to continue to be successful in the Test format. I think by walking away from one-day cricket it probably gives me my best opportunity."
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