By: Reuters | | Melbourne | | March 19, 2015 2:48:54 pm
Australia captain Michael Clarke has declared he has no intention of retiring from ODI cricket after the World Cup.
Clarke has long suffered a back condition and in recent months battled a succession of hamstring injuries that have prompted calls for the 33-year-old to retire from the shorter format to prolong his career in Test cricket.
Clarke poured cold water on the idea on the eve of Australia’s quarter-final against Pakistan in Adelaide.
“I have had injury concerns since I was 17 years of age,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“And I have managed to play over 200 one-dayers and over 100 Test matches so it hasn’t stopped me to date. And I don’t think it will do after this series either.”
Clarke has battled back into the team after a long lay-off from hamstring surgery that saw him miss Australia’s opening pool win against England.
Off-field, Clarke’s relationship with selectors and coach Darren Lehmann was questioned after he was set a deadline to be fit by the second pool match against Bangladesh or risk missing out on the tournament on home soil altogether.
It seemed a harsh ultimatum for a player that has scored over 16,000 runs for Australia in ODI and Test cricket.
“A lot of players have had injuries throughout their career and worked their backsides off to get back out on the park,” Clarke said.
“Walking back out on the field to represent your country is a very special feeling.
“But if you don’t perform you don’t get that opportunity. I’m fortunate to be back out on the park and I need to make sure I’m performing and leading the way as captain of this team.”