Former Australian cricket team captain Michael Clarke has said that he should have retired after the death of his teammate Phillip Hughes.
Clarke, who called it quits in August, 2015, after the Ashes series, said he shouldn’t have carried on for nine months after the tragic death of Hughes.
“I shouldn’t have played another game. My career should have stopped then. It was too hard for me,” Clarke told a website.
“It took me a lot longer to grieve his loss than it should have, or that I would have liked.
“I didn’t allow myself to grieve at the time because I had responsibility to his family, firstly, but then also as Australia’s cricket captain to my teammates and getting us back out onto the field.”
Hughes died in November, 2014, after being struck on the head by a bouncer from New South Wales bowler Sean Abbot during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Clarke admitted that after that he felt fear at the crease for the first time.
“My greatest strength as a small boy growing up and all through my career was that I was never scared,” he said.
“The faster they bowled, the easier it would be to score. I liked batting without a helmet on occasions; they’d bowl at your head and I’d love playing the hook or the pull shot.
“Even if it was just my subconscious, when I lost one of my best mates playing the game that we love, I think my subconscious worked out that you can actually die playing this sport.
“Even if it was the smallest bit of fear, you can’t play at the highest level like that.”
Clarke also revealed that during Australia’s tour of the West Indies in 2015 he was at his lowest point and he often cried himself to sleep at night.