AUSTRALIA captain Michael Clarke has announced he will retire at the end of the Ashes series, outlining "now is the right time to walk away" from international cricket.
Speculation of Clarke's decision began to mount on the morning of day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge just hours before England wrapped up a series triumph with an innings-and-78-run defeat of Australia.
Clarke later confirmed he would retire after the fifth and final Test at the Oval beginning on August 20 in what would be his 115th appearance in the five-day arena since making his debut against India in 2004.
"It's just the right time," Clarke told Grandstand
"I started this game at six years of age, started playing for Australia at 21, I've loved every minute of it. I'm extremely disappointed with losing the way we have and my own performances throughout this series.
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