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Michael Clarke wishes he quit after Phil Hughes died

Michael Clarke says he should have retired from Test cricket after the death of Phillip Hughes so he could properly grieve for his bestfriend and teammate.

The former Australian captain retired after the Ashes series in August 2015 but said in hindsight he should have stopped playing immediately after Hughes’ death. 

‘I shouldn’t have played another game. My career should have stopped then. It was too hard for me,’ Clarke, now a Channel Nine commentator, told The Weekly Review.

 

Michael Clarke (pictured with wife Kyly) says he should have retired from Test cricket after the death of Phillip Hughes so he could properly grieve for his bestfriend and teammate

The former Australian captain (pictured) retired after the Ashes series in August 2015 but said in hindsight he should have stopped playing immediately after Hughes' death

The former Australian captain (pictured) retired after the Ashes series in August 2015 but said in hindsight he should have stopped playing immediately after Hughes’ death

‘It took me a lot longer to grieve his loss than it should have, or that I would have liked.

‘I didn’t allow myself to grieve at the time because I had responsibility to his family, firstly, but then also as Australia’s cricket captain to my teammates and getting us back out onto the field.’

Hughes died in November 2014 when he was hit in the head by a cricket ball while playing for South Australia against New South Wales at the SCG. He was just 26.

The pair had been teammates for NSW and Australia, with Clarke calling Hughes his ‘little brother’ and being a pallbearer at his funeral.

Clarke said that during Australia’s six-week tour of the West Indies in June 2015 he cried himself to sleep each night.

He also admitted that following Hughes’ shocking death he felt fear at the crease for the first time in his career.

Hughes (pictured) died at age 26 in November 2014 when he was hit in the head by a cricket ball while playing for South Australia against New South Wales at the SCG

Hughes (pictured) died at age 26 in November 2014 when he was hit in the head by a cricket ball while playing for South Australia against New South Wales at the SCG

Clarke and Hughes had been teammates for NSW and Australia, with Clarke calling him his 'little brother' and being a pallbearer  at his funeral (pictured)

Clarke and Hughes had been teammates for NSW and Australia, with Clarke calling him his ‘little brother’ and being a pallbearer at his funeral (pictured)

‘My greatest strength as a small boy growing up and all through my career was that I was never scared,’ he said.

‘The faster they bowled, the easier it would be to score. I liked batting without a helmet on occasions; they’d bowl at your head and I’d love playing the hook or the pull shot.

‘Even if it was just my subconscious, when I lost one of my best mates playing the game that we love, I think my subconscious worked out that you can actually die playing this sport.

Clarke (pictured giving a eulogy at Hughes' funeral) said during Australia's six-week tour of the West Indies in June 2015 he cried himself to sleep each night

Clarke (pictured giving a eulogy at Hughes’ funeral) said during Australia’s six-week tour of the West Indies in June 2015 he cried himself to sleep each night

‘Even if it was the smallest bit of fear, you can’t play at the highest level like that.’

Clarke, who married wife Kyly in 2012 and has a two-year-old daughter Kelsey Lee, said he does not miss playing cricket.

‘As a sportsman and a husband I think I was very stuck in my ways and having a little girl has softened me a lot,’ he said.

‘I wish we had her 10 years earlier because she’s been the best thing for me.’



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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