Simon Katich and Michael Clarke.
Simon Katich and Michael Clarke.

Clarke could be on way back to play in baggy green

FORMER Australia captain Michael Clarke has responded to a report he's willing to come out of retirement to help out the Test side following the suspensions of David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft.

Clarke, who retired after losing the Ashes series in England three years ago, said he'd do anything to help the national team and the game in Australia and had messaged Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland to tell him that but is yet to hear a response.

The 37-year-old battled with a chronic back problem in the latter stages of a glittering career that saw him score 8643 runs in 115 Tests and chalk up 28 centuries.

But he believes he is fitter than he has been for years and desperate to give something back to the sport which has been rocked by the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

"I've never cared about age. Brad Hogg played at 45," Clarke told The Daily Telegraph.

"I don't think it's about a number. I think it's about commitment and devotion.

"It's like getting back on a bike. I'm as fit and healthy as I've ever been. The time away has been great for my body.

"To be honest, I'm so nervous about the headline and how it's perceived.

"But I can't just sit here and do nothing. I feel I owe the game too much."

Clarke, who is in India on commentating duties for the IPL, took to Twitter on Sunday morning to clarify his position, saying he had not made any formal offer to come back and wear the baggy green again.

 

 

Before Clarke responded to rumours of a comeback, those on social media had mixed reactions to the possibility of seeing the New South Welshman playing for the national team again.

 

The day after the ball tampering scandal erupted in Cape Town, an emotional Clarke was asked whether he would consider returning to skipper the national team three years after his retirement.

"If I was asked by the right people, then I would think about my answer," Clarke said on Channel Nine's Sports Sunday.

Clarke was pressed several times to give a committal answer but while he didn't completely rule out a return, he looked pained by the fact he may even need to consider such a scenario.

"This is so raw right now. This is not about me at all," he said. "This is about Australian cricket and the future of Australian cricket and where these current players and this current structure and leadership sits, and my job is to make sure I can help this game come back from this.

"I work for Channel Nine and I sit on this desk today and I really hope that that young man (Steve Smith) finds a way to be able to captain Australia."

Asked what his wife thought of a possible recall, Clarke again left the sensational possibility of a comeback open.

"She just sent me a text message with, what's the emoji? The monkey has the hands over her eyes," he said. "She is at home waiting for the answer as well, I imagine."

- with AAP



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