Australia skipper Michael Clarke set to bid adieu to ODIs after World Cup final

  • AFP, Melbourne
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2015 11:41 IST

Michael Clarke's retirement decision overshadowed the eve of the World Cup final, with the Australian captain using a pre-match news conference to reveal Sunday's tournament decider against New Zealand would be his last one-day international.

Clarke, who turns 34 next week, said he told his teammates of his retirement about 10 minutes before announcing it to a packed news conference on Saturday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"I think it's the right time for me and the Australian cricket team," the 33-year-old Clarke told reporters. "I made the decision 48 hours ago when I asked myself if I thought I would be playing in the next World Cup and I said to myself that I don't think I will be." Clarke has played 244 one-day internationals, scoring 7,907 runs with a highest score of 130. He intends to prolong his Test career having already played 108 matches with 8,432 runs and a highest score of 329 not out.

"I think it's the right time for me. 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 said.

"I leave the one-day team in a better place than when I took over the captaincy and it gives me my best chance to prolong my Test career. They are the three main reasons why I have decided to walk away from one-day cricket."

Clarke said it was not for him to go into who should be Australia's next one-day captain, although Steve Smith has been mentioned after he took over for the last three Tests against India in Clarke's recent absence following hamstring surgery.

"Smithy has certainly matured as a player and a person," Clarke said. "His form is because of his hard work and I am not surprised that he is scoring as many runs as he is because he's training extremely hard and he's worked hard on his game.

"He's learnt a lot about his game. I don't think it would be fair for me to say who's going to be the next captain, that's not my place, that's up to the selectors.

"Smithy is certainly someone who will be spoken about."

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