Clarke to withdraw from Big Bash League

Australia

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has decided not to play in the Big Bash League (BBL) this year with the Melbourne Stars, saying he needed some time away from the game.

Clarke retired from Test cricket after the Australia lost the recent Ashes series and has now pulled out of the T20 tournament after he signed a two year-deal with the Stars in April.

The 34 year-old Clarke said he is only pulling out of the competition for this season and has not ruled out returning to play for the franchise next season.

Speaking on Triple M radio, Clark said: "Right now for I just think my body and my mind need some time away from the game of cricket.

"It's been a big part of my life and I just think that with my retirement from international cricket now I just need to take myself away from the game of cricket for a little while and just see what that's like to actually be without it.  

"You push yourself to the max when you're playing sport at the highest level and now I've pressed stop on that part, in regards to international cricket, I just think my body and my mind just needs that break.

"I've got a two-year deal at the moment so hopefully it all turns out okay and I come back and play next year, but even if they decide they don't want me to play, hopefully I can help the club have success in another way."

The BBL starts get underway in mid-December.

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