Michael Clarke shoots down reports of Test cricket comeback

By @saihoops on
Michael Clarke
Cricket - England v Australia - Investec Ashes Test Series Fifth Test - Kia Oval - 23/8/15 Australia's Michael Clarke Reuters / Philip Brown

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke won't be making his comeback to Test cricket, contrary to reports that the 37-year-old batsman has offered to help the national team in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal. With axed captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft facing lengthy suspensions, the possibility of Clarke's return to the Australian Test team has been floated in the media.

According to veteran Australian cricketer reporter Robert Craddock, Clarke and his management team contacted The Daily Telegraph over the weekend to provide an interview about a potential comeback to the sport. Clarke, currently in India on a media assignment, clarified his stance via Twitter (see below).

Clarke retired three years ago after losing the Ashes series in England. In the interview, Clarke stated that he'd do anything to help the Australian team.

"I’ve never cared about age. Brad Hogg played at 45. I don’t think it’s about a number. I think it’s about commitment and devotion. It’s like getting back on a bike. I’m as fit and healthy as I’ve ever been. To be honest, I’m so nervous about the headline and how it’s perceived. But I can’t just sit here and do nothing. I feel I owe the game too much," Clarke had said.

Michael Clarke planted story, reveals journalist

Craddock revealed on Monday that Clarke knew exactly what the written story would be perceived as.

“He is one of the least self-aware major figures you can get. Let’s just go through this timeline. The Sunday Telegraph got a call from Clarke’s management late last week. He (Clarke) wanted that story in the paper. If you pull up the online version of it, it has an embedded recording with Michael Clarke. Yeah, sure, the headline might have been a little bit stronger than the story, but the story was there,” Craddock told SEN’s Whateley, via News.com.au.

Michael Clarke, 37, battled with a chronic back problem in the latter stages of his illustrious career that saw him amass 8,643 runs in 115 Tests at a batting average of 49.10. Though the trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft are expected back for next year's Cricket World Cup in England, Australia will be without their two best batsmen when India pay a visit for a four-Test series later this year.