Returning Clarke denies Sydney Big Bash snubs


Former Australia captain Michael Clarke said reports that he has been snubbed by both Sydney franchises for the 2016-17 Big Bash League are wide of the mark.

Clarke last month surprisingly announced that he will come out of retirement to play for Sydney grade team Western Suburbs.

The 34-year-old, who called time on his career following the Ashes series in England last year, has declared his interest in playing in the next edition of the Big Bash.

Reigning champions Sydney Thunder and city rivals Sydney Sixers are reported to have ruled out signing Clarke for the sixth Big Bash tournament.

But the batsman said that is not the case as he prepares to make his comeback for Western Suburbs this weekend. 

He said: "I've made it very clear to the franchises that have approached me that I am focusing solely on this game for my club right now. If it goes to plan I'll make contact.

"I would have no problem playing anywhere, but I can guarantee you that there is some interest from my hometown apart from what might have been written in a news article. Right now my focus is this club game."

Clarke also stressed that he did not end his Australia career prematurely.

He added: "Like I said, I retired from international cricket and I have no regrets in my retirement. I walked away from international cricket at the right time I believe for a number of reasons.

"For me and my family at that time and for the team as well. Knowing what we had coming up in Australia, it was a great time to transition that new team."