Former Australian captain Michael Clarke will end his self-imposed exile from cricket with a club match next month, opening the way for a possible return to first class action, primarily in the Twenty20 format. Clarke retired from international cricket last August following the Ashes series defeat by England, having already stepped down from the limited-overs format after the World Cup win on home soil earlier in 2015.
The 34-year-old batsman then opted against taking up the first year of a two-year deal with Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Stars and announced he was taking an extended break from the game in September. On Sunday, Clarke confirmed he would play for Sydney grade side Western Suburbs on Feb. 20-21, saying he missed the competitive side of the game and any possible return at senior level would concentrate on T20s.
“My focus is definitely the Twenty20 format,” the injury-prone Clarke told Australian Associated Press on Sunday. “I was so focused when I was playing international cricket on test and one-day cricket that I said ‘no’ to a lot of IPL (Indian Premier League) opportunities.