Michael Clarke joins CA as ‘cricket ambassador’ for 2-dayers and opening matches

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Michael Clarke joins CA as ‘cricket ambassador’ for 2-dayers and opening matches, starting with New Zealand two weeks from now

Michael Clarke, once upon a time the poster boy for Australian cricket, has been tasked with healing the institution after a highly publicised sex scandal.

The “Mr Cricket”, 43, is to join Cricket Australia as a “cricket ambassador”, promoting the two-day, 40-over format among Australia’s cricketing community.

“Michael Clarke has achieved so much both on and off the field and will add so much to CA’s efforts to raise the profile of two-day and 50-over cricket,” CA’s interim CEO, James Sutherland, said on Thursday.

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“We know he will also be a fantastic asset to fans in New Zealand where we will play our first one-day international of the summer against the Black Caps two weeks from today.”

Clarke was among many Aussie players caught up in a scandal in 2013 involving a woman in an offshore London hotel. He admitted to an extramarital affair but claimed his repressed feelings for the woman meant he had sent her around 30 text messages per day for three months.

“I had been having a torrid time at home, more so than most boys I’ve played cricket with who are just being ‘normal teenagers’,” Clarke told reporters in 2014.

Michael Clarke and I didn’t give that a second thought. We were texting each other non-stop. We’d go out and spend two or three hours there Messaging each other when no one else was out. Michael Clarke

“I’ve been an indulger my whole life and I probably have to be careful, but I understand now that people who have been with an extramarital affair often don’t always tell the story.”

Clarke was criticised in 2013 for conducting “lightweight” investigations into the affair, suggesting his father’s Sydney club wasn’t a top priority. He had previously admitted that under his leadership, Australia’s reputation had suffered.

In a statement on Thursday, Clarke said he looked forward to “working with all sections of the cricket community”.

“Having only been in Melbourne a couple of days and already meeting some amazing fans and chatting with fans who were interested in a chance to mingle with a former player, it’s obvious that my role as ‘cricket ambassador’ is very important to fans and even to parents with young kids,” he said.

“My focus is entirely on cricket and my side has been set up with Victoria State Team Head Coach Graham Ford. We are organising four very important two-day games over the next couple of months against New South Wales and Australia A in Melbourne.”

As an ambassador for players and teams, Clarke will help promote cricket as a family sport and as a social, recreational and educational pastime. He will also appear at functions to meet and greet fans, promote Australian cricket in the community and interact with the media.

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