Clarke’s return to top flight cricket this summer restricted to BBL only

Clarke’s return to top flight cricket this summer restricted to BBL only

Clarke’s return to top flight cricket this summer restricted to BBL only
Clarke’s return to top flight cricket this summer restricted to BBL only

While Michael Clarke still confident about a stunning Big Bash League comeback, Cricket New South Wales has made it clear, the former Australian captain will not play for the sky blues this summer.

Clarke had earlier hinted that he is getting ready for a return to top-flight cricket this summer with BBL most likely outing. He walked out on his contract with the Melbourne Stars last year just ahead of his international retirement.

But there were several reports suggesting that the 35-year-old right-hander has decided to suit up for NSW for their defence of the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup this summer.

Back in May, Cricket NSW also confirmed they already had a discussion with Clarke over a return for the Blues, but on Tuesday the state association has cleared out all the doubts claiming the prolific right-hander will not be featuring for the Blues’ plans for 2016-17 in format.

“Michael has decided against returning to elite cricket with the NSW Blues,” a Cricket NSW spokesman told News Corp.

There are also reports suggesting Clarke, who hasn’t played for NSW since November 2013, would not have any chance to commit to the four-month Blues pre-season because of his business demands.

In 1999 an 18-year-old Clarke made his first-class debut for NSW against the touring Indian team. He scored 18 and 2 against a strong visiting side which was captained by Sourav Ganguly and bolstered with superstars Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble.

In his 14 years career, Michael Clarke played 44 Sheffield Shield matches for the Blues, notching 3,164 runs and 11 centuries.

While his state career seems all but over, the former Australian captain hasn’t ruled out his career in the Big Bash League this summer after he made his T20 comeback last month playing for the Kowloon Cantons during the two-day Hong Kong T20 Blitz Tournament.

In two innings Clarke scored 6 and 15 not out before rain spoiled the weekend fun and his chance of plundering a big innings.

Clarke previously had a contract with the Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Stars, but didn’t get a chance to play a match in the city-based T20 tournament.

In February, Sydney Sixers officials spoke to Clarke about his playing future.

“We caught up with Michael a few weeks ago to chat about his interest in the Sixers and what he was looking to do moving forward,” Sydney Sixers official Redmond told AAP.

“We only have a few positions available on our roster and we are just working through our review process from last season. 

“With the World T20 and IPL coming up, no decisions on roster spots are likely to be made in the near future as we decide on what is going to work best for our club for BBL|06 and beyond. 

“It’s a long offseason so we will wait and see how things pan out in the coming months.”

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