Clarke announces retirement from ODIs

5:33 am on 29 March 2015

The Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke says he plans to retire from one-day internationals after today's Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand.

Australian cricket captain, Michael Clarke.

Australian cricket captain, Michael Clarke. Photo: AFP

Clarke made the announcement at a pre-match press conference in Melbourne, and said he had only told his team-mates minutes earlier.

The 33-year-old said he made the decision about 48 hours ago once he knew he wouldn't be fit for the next edition of the World Cup in four year's time.

"I think I got back to my house at about 12.30. Kyly was in bed and that's when I spoke to her about it," he said.

"I know I've made the right decision.

He said his announcement wouldn't prove a distraction during the final.

Clarke said he had no plans to retire from test cricket and he hoped stepping back from the shorter form of the game would prolong his Test career.

"I've never hid behind the fact that I find Test cricket to be the pinnacle of the sport," he said.

"I don't feel bad about saying that Test cricket is the toughest part of our game. I love that challenge.

"I still believe I've got a lot to offer the team as the captain of the Test team," he told the ABC.

Clarke has struggled with back and hamstring injuries over the past 18 months and missed the first game of the tournament, handing the captaincy to long-time stand-in skipper George Bailey for the clash with England.

It remains to be seen whether Bailey, 32, or recent Test skipper Steve Smith, 25, will take the reins in the long term, but Clarke clearly had his own ideas.

"Smithy has certainly matured as a player and a person," Clarke said.

"His form is because of his hard work and I am not surprised that he is scoring as many runs as he is because he's training extremely hard and he's worked hard on his game.

"He's learnt a lot about his game. I don't think it would be fair for me to say who's going to be the next captain, that's not my place, that's up to the selectors.

"Smithy is certainly someone who will be spoken about."

Clarke is the fourth-most prolific Australian ODI batsman in history with 7,907 runs at an average of 44.42 since making his debut as a 21-year-old against England in 2003.

Only Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh have more runs in 50-over cricket, while his eight tons place him seventh on the list of Australian century-makers.

"I always dreamt of playing cricket for Australia," Clarke sid.

"I never dreamt of captaining Australia and to have this opportunity and privilege is better than I could have imagined.