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Clarke tells WI stars to focus on international cricket

Published:Saturday | December 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Michael Clarke

SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke believes West Indies players should place more emphasis on playing international cricket rather than campaigning in the various domestic Twenty20 leagues around the world.

He was speaking amid the raging debate surrounding the plethora of West Indies players currently signed with franchises in the ongoing Big Bash League, even as the Caribbean Test team faced off in a three-Test series against Australia here.

"I think international cricket has to be the priority. T20 tournaments are important and fantastic to watch, but I think there's nothing more special than representing your country," said Clarke, who quit international cricket earlier this year.

He added: "The players that are here playing in the BBL, I think it's really disappointing they're not part of the West Indies Test team. There's a number of players in Australia who would be in their number one picked Test team.

"I think it's disappointing for the game and Test match cricket. I'd like to see that changed. That will come down to the ICC and West Indies Cricket Board trying to get together to make it work."

Fielding a largely inexperienced side, West Indies were annihilated inside three days by an innings and 212 runs in the opening Test in Hobart.

They will play the second Test in Melbourne starting on Boxing Day while the likes marquee opener Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree and Lendl Simmons turn out in the Big Bash.