Clarke to captain Stars in BBL|05
Australia's World Cup winning skipper to trade the green and gold for just green this summer
17 April 2015, 08:41 AM AEST
Michael Clarke was confirmed as captain of the Melbourne Stars for the fifth edition of the KFC T20 Big Bash League, and says he's confident he has the game to help bring a first BBL title to the MCG-based club.
Clarke takes over the captaincy after Cameron White left the club to join cross-town rival Melbourne Renegades, with David Hussey to take the reigns when Clarke is on Test duties.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) April 16, 2015
"I've been fortunate throughout my career to have success in the Test format and in the most recent one-day World Cup," Clarke said.
"There's a goal I haven’t achieved yet and that’s trying to help a team win the BBL and I look forward over the challenge over the next couple of years trying to help the Melbourne Stars.
"I'm really confident. We have a fantastic team and have done for a few years now. I' hopeful I can help contribute and bring a title to the Melbourne Stars."
Clarke is yet to play a match in the KFC T20 Big Bash League competition due to his heavy international commitments. He retired from ODI cricket after Australia's successful World Cup campaign and says dropping the 50-over format allows him to concentrate on T20 cricket.
"I think I showed most recently in the World Cup final that I cans still play in this format. I’ve never had the opportunity to focus on the Twetny20 format," Australia's 34-year-old Test skipper added.
"A big part of why I retired from international Twenty20 cricket was so I could focus on just the two formats. For my style of play and my body I needed to concentrate on those two formats to get the best out of myself.
"Now retiring from one-day cricket it’s the right time, it gives me the opportunity to really focus on Test cricket and T20 cricket.
"I guess like any challenge or any goal I’ve had in my career I’ll do everything in my power to try and play the best cricket type of cricket I can and help this thing have success."
Clarke had previously been tied with local outfit the Sydney Thunder, but with White moving to cross-town rivals the Melbourne Renegades, a spot in the batting order and as captain has become available.
The dashing right-hander played the last of his 34 T20 internationals for Australia in 2011, but has a featured in handful of games in the Indian Premier League since.
Young spinner Adam Zampa and allrounder Evan Gulbis were also announced as additions to the Stars squad for BBL|05.
Zampa's move is a blow for the Adelaide Strikers and their new coach Jason Gillespie, with the young blonde leggie highly rated in Australian cricket. Gulbis joins from Hobart Hurricanes and Clarke had big wraps for both new additions.
"Spin bowling has always been a thing I love facing as a batsman but I also love having in the team and in the squad and the Melbourne Stars have a good mixture of spin bowlers now," Clarke said.
"We’ve got left-arm orthodox, right-arm leg-spin, a little bit of right-arm off-spin as well so that’s a really good weapon for us to have.
"Gulbis has had a lot of success as an allrounder.
"I really like the way he plays. He’s a power hitter, (can) bowl 140-145kph, so I think they’re two really good strike weapons for our squad, and on a big ground like this they’ll have a lot of success."
A photo posted by Michael Clarke (@michaelclarkeofficial) on