Clarke quits T20 cricket to focus on Tests

Friday, January 7, 2011

SYDNEY - Australia’s Michael Clarke Friday quit Twenty20 cricket in the aftermath of the Ashes disaster and said he took the decision to focus on Tests.

Australia lost the Ashes 1-3 after they were bundled out for 281 in the second innings of the Sydney Test.

Clarke, too, had a horrible series, scoring a lone fifty in eight innings. Clarke said his shaky form in Tests was one of the reasons he quit the shortest version of the game. All-rounder Cameron White was announced as the new captain.

“My T20 performances have not been that great so it made my decision easier, but my main focus is to firstly become a better Test cricketer and also to help the team as the vice-captain, do whatever I can to help this team turn it around,” Clarke was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

“It has probably happened because of these five Test matches, probably because of my performances in these five Test matches.”

“So I guess that gives me the opportunity now to focus wholly and solely on Test and one-day cricket and to use that time to play more domestic and first-class cricket for NSW and become a better Test player.

“I have always said Test cricket is the ultimate for me and this gives me that opportunity,” he said.

Clarke represented Australia in 34 Twenty20 internationals, averaging 21.21 with the bat. Clarke took over the Twenty20 team after Ricky Ponting retired from the shortest format of the game in August 2009.

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