Clarke: I may never play again

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 13 Desember 2014 | 20.01

Australian skipper Michael Clarke says he may never play again after suffering his second injury of the match.

Michael Clarke picked up his second injury of the match on day five. Source: AP

MICHAEL Clarke has dropped a bombshell on Australian cricket, admitting there's a chance he may never play again.

The captain ruled himself out for the rest of the series against India and says his World Cup hopes could also be in jeopardy, pending feedback from experts on the serious hamstring and back injuries he's taken out of Adelaide.

Clarke has vowed to fight on but in a statement which will rock the Australian team to its core, the sombre skipper hasn't ruled out a shock retirement after a spate of setbacks with his body.

"There's certainly a chance I could never play again," said Clarke after the match.

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Chris Rogers looks on as Michael Clarke grimaces in pain after hurting his hamstring. Source: Getty Images

"I hope that's not the case and I'll be doing everything in my power to get back out on the park but I think I've got to be realistic as well.

"I have to be honest with myself and have a long hard think about things, definitely."

Brad Haddin is set to take over as Australia's 45th captain for the rest of the series and Shaun Marsh will replace him in the batting order.

But Australia all of a sudden may have a leadership crisis on its hands looking forward to the Ashes, with veteran gloveman Haddin 37 years old and struggling with the bat.

Cricket Australia may need to fast track their succession plan, with Steve Smith's time potentially nearing.

Australian skipper Michael Clarke has left Adelaide Oval for scans with a suspected injury to his right hamstring.

Already among the walking wounded, Clarke, 33, dramatically injured his right hamstring in the field at Adelaide Oval yesterday.

For the first time, Clarke has conceded there are doubts in his own mind about whether his body can stand up ever again.

But he said he had no regrets about playing in the Phillip Hughes tribute match underdone on preparation or about fighting on in the match despite significantly injuring his lower back batting on day one.

Clarke said playing in Adelaide was the most important Test of his career, and his brave first innings hundred a special moment that will stay with him forever.

"One hundred per cent. I don't have one regret. This is the most important test match of my career.

"I wouldn't change a thing."

Nathan Lyon has been named man of the match in the first Test against India after taking seven wickets to lead Australia to victory on the final day of play.

To not have Clarke as captain for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to captain his country at a home World Cup is a daunting prospect for Australian cricket.

But even more alarming would be a scenario where he wasn't leading the Test side into battle at next year's Ashes series.

The reality is that his fitness is a complete lottery and is starting to have a major impact on the team.

It is a liability that could destabilise a World Cup or Ashes campaign if he was to attempt to play and break down.

This is something that Clarke has now realised and Australian cricket will hold its collective breath as experts advise him of his best way forward.

"I think with my body in general there's always that risk (that I may never play again)," he said.

"This is a different hamstring, I did my left hamstring (three times since August), I've done the right side of my back, and I've just done my right hammy.

Team physio Alex Kountouris was on the field in a flash to inspect the damage. Source: Getty Images

"I've got injury concerns at the moment now and I've got to get back and do what the experts tell me to give me the best chance of being fully fit.

"Every game I miss for Australia is heart breaking.

"I think I play my best cricket when I have some momentum so I actually get some cricket under my belt.

"The first World Cup practice game is eight weeks away.

"I would love to take part in the tri-series (starting in January) but we'll have to wait and see."

Clarke has suffered three left hamstring injuries since August and on day one of the Adelaide Test he damaged a disc in the lower right side of his back.

Now there's another hamstring problem to add to the mix.

The Australian cricket team have finished an emotional first Test off with celebrations near the 408 tribute to their mate Phillip Hughes.

Saturday was the second day out of five in this Test he was unable to complete, and Clarke has played only two one-day internationals since January, neither of which he was able to finish.

He had started to look more free in his movement over the past two days, even prompting his best mate Shane Warne to predict he would back up in Brisbane.

But in the 44th over yesterday disaster struck when Clarke reached down to field a ball on the run and urgently clutched at his right hamstring.

The increasingly familiar sight of Clarke slumped on the ground, then limping off, was followed by a distressed and frustrated skipper being filmed getting into a car and leaving Adelaide Oval for scans.

Clarke appeared to be really struggling, and received a comforting pat from teammate Shane Watson as he left the field.

The importance of Clarke's captaincy and batting proficiency has been made abundantly clear this Test match.

But how sustainable is it for Australia to have a skipper who can't see out a match?

Michael Clarke was clearly distressed as he left the Adelaide Oval for scans. Source: News Corp Australia

After lifting himself up off the canvas for a career-defining century on day two, his incredible career is now under more doubt than ever before.

Cricket Australia has made it clear the World Cup starting in February and next winter's Ashes tour of the UK are the main priorities.

But Clarke's ability to survive a 44-day World Cup campaign looks doubtful and, all of a sudden, another visit to England seems a remote possibility.

Team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris has openly admitted Clarke's troublesome hamstrings and chronic back could go at any time and are only getting worse as he gets older.

Clarke originally was set to miss the first Test against India before it was reschedule following the death of Phillip Hughes and, at that time, it seemed Haddin would take over the captaincy.

The skipper indicated he would be passing the batton to Haddin, although an announcement has not been officially made.

Shaun and Mitchell Marsh will become the first Test playing brothers since the Waugh twins.

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