Monday, 10 August 2015

In praise of Michael Clarke

IN ALL THE excitement of England's Ashes triumph, the news Michael Clarke is retiring was relegated slightly if understandably.

Announced on the outfield to his mate Shane Warne, the 'Pup' who became captain of his country and almost the leader of a nation after the tragic death of Phillip Hughes revealed he would hang up his whites after the final test at the Oval next week.

Was he pushed or did he jump? It's hard to say 100 per cent either way. It's no secret his back is not the best and equally he is hardly a popular player on the dressing room or with some supporters.

But in paying tribute you can never say Michael Clarke didn't give 100 per cent everytime he donned the Baggy Green. Century after century including an incredible 329 not out against India. 

While the 'get ready for a broken f****** arm' comment during the last Ashes Down Under was hardly his finest hour, his statesmanlike approach following the death of Phil Hughes should never bee forgotten.

Australian cricket was in mourning and looked to Clarke to lead them through the darkest moments, a job he did manfully.

It's rather ironic following his return from injury and inconsistent form that Australia seemingly wasn't there for him.

A great player will be taking his leave next week, cricket lovers everywhere ought to stand and applaud.

Your nickname might have been Pup, Michael but you were one big dog in Australian cricket and will be missed 

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