Michael Clarke opts for an indefinite break from cricket
This means that Clarke, who was contracted to play for the Melbourne Stars in the KFC Big Bash, will not take part in this year’s tournament.
Clarke said that his body and mind need some rest from the game in order to recover from the arduous experience of playing international cricket.
"Right now for me, I just think my body and my mind need some time away from the game of cricket... and just see what that's like to be without it,” Clarke told Triple M Radio.
"It's been a big part of my life and I just think that with my retirement from international cricket now, I just need to take myself away from the game of cricket for a little while and just see what that's like to actually be without it.
"You push yourself to the max when you're playing sport at the highest level and now I've pressed stop on that part, in regards to international cricket.
“I just think my body…and my mind just needs that break.”
Nevertheless, Clarke is hopeful of returning next year either as a player or in any other capacity to help the franchise succeed.
"I'm really hopeful that (the) love and passion that I've always had for the game will come back.
"I've got a two-year deal at the moment, so hopefully it all turns out ok and I come back and play next year.
"But even if they decide they don't want me to play, I'm hopeful I'll be able to help the club have success in another way."
Clarke underwent an extremely tough time emotionally, following the death of his former teammate and friend Phillip Hughes in November last year.
Clarke conducted himself with extreme dignity during the tough period, offering his full support to bereaved family members.
The 34-year-old also acknowledged that the emotional impact of the passing away of Hughes, played a role in him taking this decision.
“I guess that's part of it as well. How big a part, right now I'm unsure.
“I just need this time to allow myself to go through whatever I need to go through to be able to move forward."
The president of Melbourne Stars, Eddie McGuire, was supportive of Clarke’s decision, while hoping that the World Cup-winning captain will continue to be associated with the club in the future.
"Michael’s decision to take a break from the game well ahead of the BBL season, gives the club the best opportunity to appoint his replacement,” said McGuire.
"Michael has been a wonderful servant of the game, not only here in Australia but worldwide, for many years and whilst he won’t be playing with the Stars this year as everyone had hoped, I am sure that Michael will remain involved with the club in some capacity in the future.”
With Clarke unavailable for this year’s Big Bash, David Hussey is likely to take over as the captain of the Melbourne Stars.
© Cricket World 2015