Clarke opens teen academy in Sydney

Australia

Australia captain Michael Clarke has joined the trend of players opening their own academies, starting his Michael Clarke Academy in Sydney, where they will focus on training kids between the ages of 13 and 18.

Australia captain Michael Clarke has joined the trend of players opening their own academies, starting his Michael Clarke Academy in Sydney, where they will focus on training kids between the ages of 13 and 18.

Clarke's academy will aim to fill the 'gap' between coaching young children, and then when they get picked up against in their late teens. He feels there is room for more coaching with younger teens.

Clarke told cricket.com.au: "I think Australian cricket has always done well to get boys and girls involved through the Milo In2Cricket program, and then I think we're very good once they get to the level of state under 19s and rookie contracts that take them through to international cricket.

"I think there's a bit of a gap there between (the ages of) 13 and 18 where hopefully I can have some impact.

"I obviously got the stamp of approval from Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia. I think it's really important that people understand that I'm not trying to get in the way of NSW or Australian development.

"It's more me trying to help out in an area and an age bracket that I think we need to continue to develop players."

Clarke and his father Les will be involved with the camps as much as they can, as they will take place for five days at a time once per quarter, with the first in September. Clarke has also recruited specialist coaches.

He added: "There's a lot of people who are involved that I know really well and trust with my life. So I know the kids that go there will have the best possible coaching.

"My father continues to help me with my game so I'm certain if he can help me, he can help others as well. I can't imagine I was the easiest player to coach!"

Aside from Clarke's new venture, former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has started an academy in Dubai, while Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal also has a training school in Faisalabad.

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