Clarke to retire after Ashes: Reports

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Nottingham, Aug 8 (IANS) Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke is reportedly set to announce his retirement from Test cricket, media reports said on Saturday.

Australia are fighting for survival in the ongoing fourth Test at Trent Bridge, being behind by 90 runs in their second innings with only three wickets in hand on Friday.

They are on the verge of surrendering the Ashes for the fourth consecutive time on foreign soil after going down 1-2 in the series with emphatic losses in Cardiff and Birmingham and conceding a 331-run first innings deficit here at Trent Bridge after being bowled out for 60 in the morning session of day one.

Clarke is understood to have told his teammates before third day’s play began here at Trent Bridge cricket ground on Saturday that his reign as skipper will be over after the series, reported on Saturday.

He was seen shaking hands with his teammates at a rare team meeting an hour before play was to resume on the third day at Trent Bridge.

This was widely interpreted as the 34-year-old breaking the news to the team, although some members of the squad were training at the nets at the time.

Clarke retired from one-day cricket after this year’s World Cup win at home.

Clarke has come under intense criticism for his poor batting form and failure to lead Australia to an Ashes win. Australia began the series as favourites but have failed to meet expectations.

Media reports earlier said Clarke was told his future with the current Test team does not extend beyond this series.

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