Michael Clarke said that although T20 tournaments are fantastic to watch, there was nothing more special than representing one's nation © Getty Images
Michael Clarke said that although T20 tournaments are fantastic to watch, there was nothing more special than representing one’s nation © Getty Images

Sydney: Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke has called on the West Indies side to prioritize international cricket instead of participating in the lucrative Twenty20 tournaments. Clarke said that although T20 tournaments are fantastic to watch, there was nothing more special than representing one’s nation at the highest level, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. West Indies cricket has been witnessing a consistent slump in its performances as star players like Chris Gayle, Keiron Pollard, Samuel Badree, Darren Sammy, Russell and Dwayne Bravo opted to play in the money-driven T20 leagues rather than for their nation.

“The players that are here playing in the BBL (Big Bash League) I think it’s really disappointing they’re not part of the West Indies Test team There’s a number of players in Australia who would be in their number one picked Test team. I think it’s disappointing for the game and Test match cricket.  I’d like to see that changed. That will come down to the ICC (International Cricket Council) and West Indies Cricket Board trying to get together to make it work,” said Clarke.  FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs West Indies 2015-16, 2nd Test at Melbourne

Reflecting on the same, the 34-year-old said that it was really disappointing to see West Indies players participating in this year’s Big Bash League T20 event rather than representing their national side in the Test series against Australia. Clarke, who rarely participated in the domestic T20 tournament during his illustrious career, suggested that the change could only be seen if the ICC and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) try to work together to sort out the present situation. Simon Katich recalls the time when he grabbed Michael Clarke’s throat during a heated arguement

“I think international cricket has to be the priority,” said Clarke, who rarely played in domestic T20 competitions during his Test career.T20 tournaments are important and fantastic to watch, but I think there’s nothing more special than representing your country,” he added.

Clarke’s comments came in the wake of a humiliating innings and 212-run defeat of the once-formidable West Indies team to the mighty Australians in the first Test of the three-match series in Hobart. West Indies will now play the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.