Kolkata (India),By Suvajit Mukherjee: Once fierce competitors on the field but now comrades off it, it was no surprise that Michael Clarke chose India’s best ever captain Sourav Ganguly to unveil his autobiography, My Story, at a very interesting function at the Fanattic Sports Museum in Kolkata. Clarke’s love affair with India dates back to 2004 when he first toured with the Australian Team and hit a majestic century in his Test debut. Also present at the occasion was the Indian sports scholar and author, Dr. Boria Majumdar, the founder of the Fanattic Sports Museum, and one who livened the evening’s proceedings by moderating an extremely interesting panel discussion with the two legends of modern cricket.
When asked by Boria about his love affair with India, Clarke said: “My first class debut for NSW was against India at the SCG. My Test debut was against India in Bangalore. I got a triple hundred against India in 2012 and perhaps played the best I ever did. And India is a very special place to play cricket with its passionate fans. And I have tremendous respect for Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and some of the other Indian greats I have played against so India will always be special for me.”
Launching the book former Indian captain Saurav Ganguly said, “Michael was one of the best batsman and captain’s I have played against and seen. He is a real ambassador of the game and all of us remember the way he conducted himself during the Phil Hughes tragedy. His grace and poise will forever be remembered by cricketers across the world. I am looking forward to reading his autobiography and about the many India-Australia contests that he and I have been involved in.……….”
The other highpoint of the evening was when Michael Clarke presented his world cup 2015 winning jersey to Boria Majumdar to be housed in the Fanattic Sports Museum, which he said “was one of the best museums he has been to. It will surely encourage the next generation of Indian sports fans.”
ABOUT MICHAEL CLARKE:
Michael Clarke, 34, is Australia’s 43rd Test cricket captain. He was born in Liverpool, and played his first Test in 2004 scoring 151 on debut. Clarke assumed the Australian captaincy in 2011, also taking the reins of the one-day side. In 115 Tests, he scored 8643 runs at a 49.10 average with 28 centuries and a highest score of 329 not out. Clarke won the Allan Border Medal four times and was twice named Wisden Cricketer of the Year. In 2015, after 245 games and almost 8000 runs, he led Australia to victory in the 2015 World Cup. He retired in August 2015 with a win-loss-draw record of 24-16-7 as captain.
ABOUT ‘MY STORY’ BY MICHAEL CLARKE:
He was the greatest batsman of his generation and, as captain, possessed the sharpest tactical mind in the game.
Bursting onto the scene in 2004 with a Test century on debut, Michael Clarke was Australian cricket’s golden boy. And the batting prodigy they nicknamed ‘Pup’ certainly fulfilled his destiny in a stellar 11-year international career of 115 Tests, 8643 runs and 28 centuries.
Clarke’s rollercoaster four-year reign as Test captain was marked as much by bravery as brilliance – a 5-0 whitewash of England in 2013-14, the 2015 World Cup triumph, and a ten-hour unbeaten 161, batting with a broken shoulder to lead Australia back to the #1 world ranking in 2014.
Yet Michael Clarke also sparked fiercer debate than any other Australian sports star.
For a decade his personal life, career fortunes and controversies – real or imagined – were splashed across front pages and scrutinised. Was he simply a hard-working, western suburbs kid living every Aussie boy’s dream? Or a 21st century cricketer mired in all the trappings of celebrity?
In the echo chamber of social media, the truth about Michael Clarke was warped, then lost. Clarke’s enigma deepened but he kept his mouth shut and his dignity intact, knowing the chance to tell his extraordinary story would finally come. And now it has.
Name of the Book: Michael Clarke: My Story
Authored by: Michael Clarke
Published By: Macmillan Australia (18th October’2016)
Price: Rs.3500/- approx.
Now available in India