When a young kid wants to be a captain, he says to himself: ‘I want to be the next Michael Clarke’
BY KEVIN RUTLAND The former captain of the England Under-19 side who led the England cricket team to the Ashes in 2008 has had a long career in the game.
But while the rest of the cricket world is focused on the cricket World Cup in 2019, England cricket captain Michael Clarke is still looking to take a more active role in his young team’s development.
Clarke, who played cricket for a decade, was born on the day the Ashes were won by England, and became the youngest player to captain the side.
He has spent the last decade leading England into the Ashes series, but his current position at the club has been made difficult by the injuries suffered by his teammates.
The 31-year-old has played for the ECB and the England team in the past, but was not involved in any of the recent Ashes series because of his workload and health concerns.
Clarkel, who had an impressive World Cup debut against Australia, has played in the two Ashes Tests against Australia and England, scoring five hundreds in the process.
Clarkes role at the top of the English cricket world has been challenged this year as England have failed to win an Ashes Test series since the 2019 Ashes, and have been one of the teams relegated in the tournament.
Clark has taken the decision to retire from the game, but there are still plenty of people who believe he can help England in the future.
Clarck said the Ashes was one of his biggest passions, but it was also one of hardest.
“There were two big reasons for that.
Firstly, because it’s the Ashes and you want to win it, but secondly because it was the first time in my career that I really wanted to be captain,” he said.”
I’ve been captain of England and won the Ashes three times, and I think the fact that I’ve been able to do that for so long has really helped me to appreciate the importance of this role.”
So I’ve thought a lot about it.
“But then, and this is the thing, you just have to enjoy it.
If you want the job you have to really enjoy it and I’m really enjoying it.
You can’t have it all and I certainly have enjoyed the last three years.”
If I had a lot of time to think about it I would have gone into retirement a long time ago, but I think it’s time to have a little bit of fun with it and enjoy it, and hopefully I can be part of that again.
“For Clarke, the decision has been easy, but not easy for the rest, who have had to make the same decision.”
When I got here, there was nothing on the board.
There wasn’t much on the calendar,” he explained.”
It’s a tough one, but obviously the one thing you can control is whether you’re playing or not.
You have to get a job, you have a place in the team and you’re a part of the team.
“For me it’s a no-brainer.
I’ve got the experience.
I played in Test cricket, so I know what it’s like to get on a tour and go through that, so when I get the chance to do it again I think I’ll do it with more confidence.”
For the players, Clarke has been a huge help, helping them through the tough times and now helping them make a new start.
“He has been great,” said Tom Woodcock, who has been with the England side for the last four years.
“He’s been a great role model for the boys, he’s been an inspiration.”
And it’s just a privilege to have the opportunity to play with him, and obviously the boys will miss him when he’s gone, but we’re just thankful for him to have been here.
“For those around Clarke, it’s been tough but it has been good to be part and now we’ll go back to doing what we do best.”
Clarke’s retirement comes as England are struggling to win the Ashes.
They are one of four teams that have been relegated out of the World Cup, and they are in a desperate situation with just one win in the last five Test series.
The team is coming off of a disappointing loss to India, and are struggling with a lack of discipline, a lack in fitness and a lack at the bowling line-up.
Clarks retirement means England have just one World Cup win in 20 years, and the team is still in the midst of the rebuilding process.
England have not won an Ashes series since 2008, and were relegated from the World Cricket League (WCL) in the World Twenty20.
Clarker will be missed by the England squad, but Woodcock said the captain has a long and proud career ahead of him.
“Michael Clarke is one of those legends who is just going to go on, so we’ll miss him,” he added.
“We know what he means