Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) President Greg Dyer and Chief Executive Alistair Nicholson today paid tribute to Australian captain Michael Clarke, who has announced that he will retire after the final Test in this Ashes Series.
Mr Dyer said:
"Michael Clarke has given outstanding service to Australian cricket for more than a decade and retires fittingly placed amongst the best batsmen this country has produced.
"Only Ricky Ponting, Allan Border and Steve Waugh have scored more Test runs for Australia, underlining his class, commitment and overall consistency.
"Michael's incredible innings of 151 on debut in Bangalore remains etched in our memories, as much for its importance to that series win as the fact that it revealed the type of player he would become.
"Positivity and an attacking approach have been features of his captaincy and were crucial in taking his side to the position of number one ranked Test team.
"On behalf of all ACA members I congratulate Michael on all he has given to Australian cricket and everything he has achieved as a player and as a captain."
Clarke's phenomenal year in 2012 saw him amass 1595 runs at 106.33 and gather a swag of accolades. In 2013 he was named ICC Cricketer of the Year, and has won the Allan Border Medal a record four times as Australia's best player.
Mr Nicholson said:
"Michael Clarke's contribution to cricket both in an Australian context and worldwide, has been enormous.
"In full flight he has been an amazing player to watch and retires rightfully positioned amongst the greats of the game.
"Double centuries and a triple ton feature in his 28 Test hundreds, many of which came after he took on the captaincy.
"Michael has always strived to lead from the front and his on and off-field leadership following the tragic passing of Phillip Hughes remains strong in the memory and spoke volumes for his character.
"His ability to manage a chronic back injury and amass more than 100 Tests is a tribute to Michael's dedication to preparation and fierce desire to compete. That he was able to play in the recent World Cup was a massive achievement, and to steer the team to victory an even bigger one.
"We congratulate Michael on a tremendous career for Australia and wish both he and Kyly the very best in the next phase of their lives."