Thoughts of Australia’s 2019 World Cup campaign were in the forefront of Michael Clarke’s mind when the captain decided to end his one-day career.
Clarke has announced that Sunday’s trans-Tasman World Cup decider will be his final ODI.
The 33-year-old reached closure on the decision upon realising there was no chance he’d still be leading the side in four years.
Steve Smith is yet to be confirmed as Clarke’s successor.
However, that is expected to happen soon given Smith became Australia’s third youngest Test captain during summer when Clarke was injured.
Clarke suggested it wasn’t fair to talk about who would takeover, but that it was important they had four years to mould the ODI side.
“I was very fortunate four years ago to get the opportunity to captain this one-day team and that was really good preparation for this World Cup,” Clarke said.
“The next Australian captain deserves the same opportunity.
“It really helped me having that preparation … to build my own team and set my own style up as a captain.”
The announcement comes after Clarke was forced to answer a very personal question in a press conference this week… Watch below!
Clarke had been thinking about the decision for some time but only made his mind up after returning home from last Thursday’s semi-final against India.
“I think I got back to my house at about 12.30, (wife) Kyly was in bed and that’s when I spoke to her about it,” he said.
“I told my teammates 10 minutes ago. I told the selectors and (Cricket Australia boss) James Sutherland about an hour ago.
“There’s no doubt I could keep playing (ODI cricket) for the next couple of years .. but I know I’ve made the right decision.”
Clarke will continue to play Test cricket.
“I’m hopeful it will prolong my Test career and that’s a priority for me,” he said.
“I don’t feel bad about saying I feel that Test cricket is the toughest part of our game.
“I see it as the pinnacle … I feel like I’ve still got a lot to offer the Australian Test team as captain.”
Sutherland was full of praise for Clarke, adding that his decision came as “something of a surprise”.
“Michael leaves one-day cricket on his own terms, aiming to finish on an absolute high, in front of a packed MCG as a possible World Cup-winning captain,” Sutherland said.
“Regardless of the result, he will leave the one-day international game as one our greats.”
Sunday’s title decider will be Clarke’s 245th ODI, ending a stellar career that started in 2003 and has netted 7907 runs at an average of 44.42.
Only Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh have scored more ODI runs for Australia.