Aussie ex-skipper Clarke to star in Hong Kong T20

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Michael Clarke smiles during a press conference at the Riverside cricket ground in Chester-le-Street near Durham August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown/Files
Shukriya Pakistan

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke will headline Hong Kong’s Twenty20 Blitz this month as he pursues a comeback in cricket’s shortest form.

Clarke, one of the top batsmen of his generation, will star at the four-team tournament from May 28-29 in a rare appearance since his retirement last year.

“While I have never been to Hong Kong before, I have heard so much about what a great place it is for sport,” he said in a statement from organisers on Wednesday.

“I can’t wait to meet my team-mates and experience the city, while also hopefully contributing to the game of cricket in Hong Kong which I know has been coming on leaps and bounds in recent years.”

Injury-plagued Clarke, 35, retired last August after playing 115 Tests for Australia, 47 as captain, and 245 one-day internationals, but only 34 T20 internationals.

Clarke returned to action in a Sydney club game in February, and he has also held talks with the Sydney Sixers about playing in Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash League.

T20 cricket can be a big money-spinner for players, with Australian veteran Shane Watson netting a US$1.4 million contract at this year’s Indian Premier League auction.

Organisers said they were delighted to welcome Clarke to the T20 Blitz, which follows Hong Kong’s appearance at this year’s World Twenty20 tournament.

“To summarise Michael’s credentials is impossible, he is simply one of the best cricketers of this generation, if not ever,” said Hong Kong Cricket Association chief Tim Cutler.

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