Clarke refreshed after 'tough summer'

2015-06-11 08:24
Michael Clarke (AFP)

Sydney - Australia captain Michael Clarke had little time to reflect on a "tough summer" battling injury and grieving the death of his friend Phillip Hughes but took satisfaction in defying the doubters who thought him a spent force.

The 34-year-old batsman will lead Australia into the second test against West Indies in Kingston later on Friday, six months after thinking his career might be over in the wake of another injury to his problematic hamstring.

Clarke's comeback from surgery to help his team win a fifth World Cup triumph on home soil was a fairytale finish for his one-day career and a decisive answer to critics who had written him off as a physical and emotional wreck.

Though preparing Australia's bid to sweep West Indies 2-0 and retain the Ashes in England next month, Clarke looked back on a tumultuous period in his life when his grief for team mate Hughes and struggle for fitness played out in the full public glare.

"I think my main focus at the time was getting through the passing of Phillip and supporting his family as much as I could," Clarke told reporters in Jamaica.

"And then when I was doing that I guess I made the decision to have surgery on my hamstring to give myself any chance, in my opinion, of making it back to the World Cup.

"So I didn't get too many days to stop and reflect, which I think for me personally was probably a good thing.

"I just think when you lose someone close it's hard to not think about them but if you've got something else on your mind, sometimes that can drive you. And that's probably the way I tried to use it.

"The fact that I was able to get myself fit for that World Cup, help the team make the final, help the team win the final, I was really proud of myself to be able to do that.

"I don't think there were too many people who thought I was going to make it. That was really satisfying.

"To get that result was icing on the cake for what was a tough summer off the field."

Clarke has played with a back condition throughout his career but said his body was feeling "outstanding" as he prepared for his 110th test.

"I've had degeneration in my back for my whole career but I've managed it," he added. "But since surgery I haven't felt my hamstring. Long may that continue."

Read more on:    australia  |  michael clarke  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Under fire Proteas coach Russell Domingo has blamed player workloads and fatigue as the reason for the national team's woeful showing in the Tri Series in the Caribbean. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.