AMID mounting pressure, Michael Clarke is hanging up the baggy green.
The Australian captain has confirmed he will leave international cricket after the fifth Ashes test against England.
Clarke’s batting average has been on the slide and the fourth test flogging at Trent Bridge was the final nail in the coffin, but the soon-to-be dad denies being pushed into retirement.
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“Selectors did not speak to me at all about being dropped or standing down or retiring,” Clarke said.
“I made the decision late last night with my beautiful wife and spoke to my family,” he added.
England reclaimed the Ashes urn in spectacular form on Saturday, winning by an innings and 78-runs. Clarke, 34 confirmed the fifth test at The Oval will be his last.
“This morning I had a conversation with Darren Lehmann and Rod Marsh and told them what I was going to do. They were both extremely respectful and thankful for what I’ve given Australian cricket.”
Looking back on his career, of 114 tests, 8605 runs including 28 centuries, Clarke said he wasn’t going to dwell on his recent poor form.
“I don’t feel sad. I’m more disappointed or sad with the way we played through this series and the way I played as captain.”
Steve Smith, 26, will now take over as skipper after already being handed the reins for the one-day side.
While Clarke will continue in the shortest form of the game, as captain of the Melbourne Stars in the upcoming Big Bash League T20 season. There’s also speculation he will join the Channel Nine commentary team.
“Hopefully I’ll get a microphone… if Channel Nine will have me.”
He also has the role of new dad to tackle later in the year.