World Cup win dedicated to Hughes


Published: Monday 30th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Australia captain Michael Clarke paid tribute to Phillip Hughes after bowing out of one-day internationals with a World Cup win.

Emotions were running high at the MCG as Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the final, with Clarke scoring 74 on his last 50-over appearance for his country while wearing a black armband in honour of Hughes who died in November after being hit by a bouncer.

The 25-year-old’s tragic death stunned the world of cricket with Clarke giving an emotional tribute to his “little brother” at his funeral.

And Clarke believes Hughes served as his team’s ’16th man’ as Australia claimed a fifth world title.

“Hughesy is thought about and spoken about on a daily basis,” he told a press conference.

“I think probably the last couple of months for me personally, it’s probably been harder than when he first passed away. I’ve been in regular contact with his sister and his family.

“And I know they would have been watching tonight. I guess that’s what makes it so special, that we are still thinking about him. We are still talking about him, and we always will.

“Like I say, I won’t play another game, I certainly won’t play a Test match without his Test number on my heart, and I’ll wear this black armband for the rest of my career.

“You know, we’ve spoken about it as a team. We believe we played this World Cup with 16 players in our squad, and that will continue for the rest of my career, that’s for sure.”

Australian focus will now turn to the Test arena where they take on the West Indies in June before travelling to England to defend the Ashes they won with a 5-0 whitewash in 2014.

Clarke listed the 5-0 series wins against England in 2007 and 2014 as two of the proudest moments of his career so far and he was quick to turn his focus to the longer format, where he will remain as both player and captain.

The 33-year-old has long struggled with a back problem and a hamstring issue ruled him out of the World Cup warm-up games but Clarke insists he will know when it is time to walk away completely.

“By walking away from the one-day game, hopefully it will prolong my Test career,” he said. “But I’ve got to perform and I’ve got to win games for Australia.

“That’s my goal. If I can help the team get back to number one and have success in our next few tours and back in Australia, then I’ll assess after that.”

He added: “Performance will dictate that. I’ve got to be making runs. I’ve got to be enjoying it,” he said.

“When the time is right, though, I’ll make sure I’m gone. I don’t want to stand in any player’s way. If I can’t help the team have success, then my time is up.”

Published: Monday 30th March 2015 by The News Editor

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