Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has revealed the confronting email that sparked the fire in his belly to produce one of Australia’s most famous knocks on home soil.
Many remember the atmosphere around the SCG when Clarke shattered records and scored an incredible unbeaten 329 against India in 2012.
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But Clarke has revealed the sinking email coach Micky Arthur showed him before the innings, which claimed his recent form had prompted discussions amongst selectors that the captain could be dropped.
“I drove to the team hotel, had breakfast there and saw Mickey Arthur and he asked if he could speak to me,” Clarke told Sky Sports Big Sports Breakfast.
“As we were driving he read an email to me that was sent to him from the chairman of selectors at the time.
“He read it to me and long story short, it pretty much said that I’d been out of form, they were worried about my own individual form being affected by the captaincy and I think if he makes no runs we’re going to have to have the conversation about dropping him.”
‘Fire in my belly’: Clarke
Clarke said he appreciated Arthur reading out the email and making him aware of the situation he was facing.
But the email only led to Clarke feeling more determined to produce one of Australia’s finest knocks on home soil.
The 329 not out in front of his home crowd came off 468 balls, with Clarke producing 39 fours across the 618-minute stay at the crease.
“To get that information probably just gave me more fire in the belly,” Clarke added.
“To be able to walk out onto the SCG and make 300, that was very special for a number of reasons but to sort of say ‘stick that where the sun doesn’t shine’ was one of the reasons.”