Soon after England thrashed Australia by an innings and 78 runs on Saturday in the 4th Test to regain the Ashes, Cricket Australia (CA) announced that Clarke will quit international cricket with the 5th and final Test of the series, from August 20 to 24, at The Oval, being his last.
"I want to play the last Test at The Oval and give it one more crack. The time is right," Clarke was quoted as saying by CA. (Cricketers pay rich tributes to Clarke)
"My performances over the last 12 months have not been acceptable to me. Test cricket is about the Ashes. We tried our best, I certainly tried my best but we got outplayed.," he added.
Speaking after the end of the 4th Test, Clarke could not hold back tears as he recalled his Test journey, which started 11 years ago. He has scored over 8,000 Test runs with 28 centuries. In the current Ashes series, he is averaging a poor 16.7 with just 117 runs from 8 innings without a single half century (38 highest).
The 34-year-old Clarke, who made his Test debut against India in Bengaluru in 2004, said it was time for the next generation and he made the decision to retire, last night.
"It's time for the next generation. I made a decision last night after I got home after the day's play. I didn't know until I made the decision. It's the right time," he said.
He revealed that his team-mates were surprised with his decision. "Boys were surprised, I don't think they expected me to walk away right now. I owe the game everything. I'll take so many memories away. I'm looking forward to sitting and cheering the boys on. It's the right time."
Clarke said he might take up TV commentary after retirement. "Hopefully I'll get a microphone and sit beside you in the commentary box if Channel Nine will have me," he said.
England skipper Alastair Cook praised Clarke, saying he should be remembered as a "great cricketer". "He should be remembered as a great cricketer and a fantastic captain," Cook said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Clarke has already quit the limited overs format. He bid adieu to ODIs after leading Australia to World Cup 2015 glory at home in March this year. The Test at The Oval will be his 115th and last.