Cricket is a funny game.
It’s a game where commentators have access to statistics like politicians have access to tax payers money. There’s no statistic too insignificant, too irrelevant or too trivial, providing they can use it to fill five minutes of talk time during long days on the airways.
And no doubt the statisticians will be out in force as we come to hear the news of Australian captain, Michael Clarke’s retirement from the game following the 5th Ashes test at The Oval. The stats will tell you he’s in at form slump at best, the end of his cricketing days at worst. Yet the heart will tell you Clarke could still knock up a double century, at will, on any given day. His body will tell you he still has those lightning reflexes to take a diving slips catch with one hand. Michael Clarke has told us, it’s time to hang up the bat.
However such is the cruelty of the statistics, it will take some time for Clarke’s legacy to be remembered the way it should be, as currently the shadows of one of our darkest Ashes tours hang deep. It’s an unfortunate way for one of our most revered sportsmen to go out. Certainly it is not the fairytale finish he or the Australian public would have liked.
Michael ‘Pup’ Clarke has played cricket since the age of six. 28 years on, he will be remembered as one of the best batsmen and all round cricketers of a generation. He has been an integral part of the Australian side since 2004, scoring an impressive 151 against India on debut. He went on to notch up a further 114 tests throughout a career that had him become the only player to score four double centuries in one year, in 2013. He is also a four time winner of the Alan Border Medal, a feat equalled only by his predecessor, Ricky Ponting.
Since becoming Australian captain in 2011, Clarke led the Aussies to a 5-0 whitewash in the 2013-14 Ashes Series and held aloft the 2015 ICC World Cup trophy.
Clarke has been a colourful, inspirational and respectful representative for the game and his country. Let’s remember his playing days by some of the more remarkable statistics from a stellar playing career.
- Highest Score 329* against India in 2012, which is also the highest test match score at the SCG and fourth highest of all time by an Aussie.
- Scored a test century on debut on both home soil and away.
- He’s a right handed batsmen but a left arm bowler.
- Best bowling figures of 6 for 9 against India in 2004-05.
- He took 31 test wickets and 57 ODI wickets
- 28 centuries and 27 fifties.
- 114 test matches, 245 One Day Internationals.
- 8,615 test match runs and 7,981 ODI’s.
- 131 catches in test cricket and a further 105 from ODI’s.
Thank You Michael Clarke. The memory of the 2015 Ashes Tour will fade in time, but images of your classic catches like the one in the video below will live long in the memories of Australian cricketing fans.
What are your memories of Michael Clarke? Was he best with the bat, ball or in the field? Was it time to go or did he still have something to contribute?