Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke has declared that he is going to retire from one-day internationals after the World Cup 2015. His decision has come out of the blue and shocked many.

Clarke is going to play his last ODI against New Zealand in the World Cup final coming Sunday. His retirement from ODIs will put an end to his illustrious career of 12 years. Clarke said that he had made the decision only 48 hours before announcing it. He added that he had not thought of quitting even in the previous week. The Australian skipper who will be celebrating his 34th birthday on Apr. 2 is considered as one of the sharpest cricket captains of this era. He, however, has been suffering from hamstring injuries and a back problem for a long time.

Clarke said that he had asked himself whether he would play in the World Cup in 2019. His inner self answered in negative. "I think it's the right time for me,” Clarke said, “A lot of it is giving the next captain and the team the opportunity to prepare and the selectors to work out what they feel is their best squad for the next World Cup.”

Clarke has scored 7,907 runs in 244 ODIs so far. His highest score has been 130 against India in 2007. Clarke, who bowls occasionally for his team, has the best ODI bowling figures of five for 35 against Sri Lanka in 2003–04.

While Clarke has decided to hang his boots for ODIs, he said that he would continue to play test matches for his country. Clarke added that he had left the Australian one-day team in a better place than when he had taken over the team's captaincy. He said that it gave him the “best chance to prolong” his test career.

Clarke told his teammates about his retirement only 10 minutes before going for the press conference at the MCG. He spoke to National Selection Panel Chairman Rod Marsh, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland and Bupa Support Team's head coach Darren Lehmann before making the decision public.

Interestingly, Clarke will complete four years of leading the Australian team on the same day he is retiring. It was on Mar. 29, 2011 when he was named full-time one-day and test captain of team Australia.

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