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by Sandeep Shivam Sunday 29 March 2015
Michael Clarke got a befitting end to his One-Day International career as he led the Australian team to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Clarke, who stroked a fluent 72-ball 74 in a modest chase of 184, expressed his happiness as he became the fourth Australian captain to win the World Cup."Obviously, I'm over the moon! What a tournament!"I would like to thank Brendon and his boys, they're always a tough team to beat."Australia vs. New Zealand in any format is a tough game."Congratulations to them for a fabulous tournament.”
The World Cup win also made Australia the second team after India in 2011 to win the coveted trophy at home and Clarke was all praise for his team as well as the crowd support on view.The 33-year-old, who made a return to the World Cup squad from a hamstring injury sustained in December, also expressed his gratitude to the medical staff for ensuring his fitness in the nick of time.“I'd like to thank all the fans for the tremendous support.“More importantly I'd like to thank the wonderful team backed up by the support staff.“They received me well after I got back from injury.“After the semi-final win, I said that we're mentally prepared for the final and I'm happy we executed it.”
With Clarke having announced his retirement from ODIs, the Australian skipper remained non-committal on what he will do with his ODI jersey.“I haven't thought about it as yet though (about his no.23 jersey).“I am proud to have received it from Warney and I'll return it to him maybe.“I will always love to keep wearing this jersey.”Australia’s World Cup win capped a perfect summer for the new Champions as they defeated South Africa in an ODI series, reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and won the triangular series before achieving the ultimate glory.As has been the case with Australian players in recent months, Clarke dedicated the title win in memory of Phil Hughes, terming him as the 16th member of their team.
“I've maintained that we played this tournament with 16 players and this is for our little brother Hughesy.
“He used to party as hard as anyone and we will be celebrating it today."
With Sunday’s win, Australia have now achieved the enviable feat of winning a World Cup in every cricketing continent.
© Cricket World 2015