Michael Clarke has pooh-pooed retirement plans and actually revealed his desire to play the 2019 World Cup in England. Clarke is doubtful for the World Cup starting next month and will have to prove his fitness before February 21 to make himself available for selection.
Clarke missed a large portion of the India-Australia Test series after injuring his back. Prone to injuries, Clarke put his career in jeopardy and several saw the upcoming World Cup as his swansong. According to a report in Fox Sports, Clarke has swept away any talk of retirement.
"It's funny, a lot of people have said or thought Michael is going to retire at the end of this World Cup," Clarke said. "I'm sure I am going to retire at the end of a World Cup, but I don't think it's this one.
"I'm 33-years of age, look at someone like Brad Haddin who is 37 and still loving his cricket and contributing to the team. I don't see any reason why I can't play in the next World Cup."
Clarke returned to nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday and is racing against time to be fit for the World Cup. George Bailey will lead in his absence.
"The boys are playing at the SCG so I'll go and bat again. It will be restricted, but I'm hoping I can just continually build it up over the next few weeks," Clarke said.
"I'm going to struggle for the first game of the World Cup. The reason I can say that in advance now is because the surgeon feels there's a certain time frame my hamstring needs before he feels comfortable.
"At the moment I'm following the Australian medical staff rehab program but a lot of that is dictated by the surgeon.
"I'm flying to Melbourne on Saturday to see the surgeon on Sunday. Time-frame wise I'm really confident I'll be right to go at 100 per cent in the not too distant future."