Clarke quits Thunder to focus on Oz

Australia

Australia captain Michael Clarke has decided not to put his name forward for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League at the end of the year, saying he would not be able to give them enough attention.

Australia captain Michael Clarke has decided not to put his name forward for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League at the end of the year, saying he would not be able to give them enough attention.

With the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand following straight on from the BBL, and a number of international fixtures in that time too, Clarke felt he would be taking a slot away from a younger player.

In the build up to the World Cup, the Aussies will play a tri-series against India and England, as well as an ODI series against South Africa, and Tests against India, all in the space of three months.

Clarke said in a statement: "Having looked at the fixture list for the upcoming summer it became apparent that my opportunities to play for the Thunder would be extremely limited.

"I think it is in the best interests of the club if I make myself unavailable for selection this season and allow the Thunder the chance to offer a contract to a younger player who would really benefit from the opportunity.

"I will continue to support the club and monitor the situation in future seasons regarding availability."

A slight consolation for the Thunder fans will be the signing of South Africa veteran Jacques Kallis, who may or may not be in the Proteas side for the World Cup.

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