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Michael Clarke Backs Away From Cricket Comeback Story

Michael Clarke has backed away from a bombshell story that he could make a cricket comeback, saying it is out of control.

The former Australia captain confirmed he has made an offer of help to national cricket boss James Sutherland as the game reels from the ball tampering debacle But Clarke will not practice in the nets while commentating on the IPL, as suggested in a News Corp Australia story.

"This article is out of control! Let me make very clear that I have not sent any formal offer to James Sutherland to come back and play cricket," Clarke posted on Twitter.

"I sent him a message as a friend offering to help Australian cricket in ANY way I could (this could mean mentoring the under 14s). "I won't be batting in the nets in India in preparation for a comeback and as I have always said the game owes me nothing, I owe it everything."

Clarke was quoted in the story as saying he "would do anything to help the Australian cricket team". He also expressed concern about how his offer of help would be received.

"To be honest I'm so nervous about the headline and how it's perceived," he said.

"But I can't just sit here and do nothing - I feel I owe the game too much."

Test captain Steve Smith, vice-captain Dave Warner and fellow batsman Cameron Bancroft have all accepted their lengthy bans stemming from the ball-tampering scandal.

Their suspensions leave a gaping hole in the Australian top order. Clarke, who retired after losing the Ashes series in England three years ago, was quoted in the article saying he would play for free.

Clarke added he is yet to hear a response from Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive.

The 37-year-old Clarke battled with a chronic back problem in the latter stages of a glittering career in which he scored 8,643 runs in 115 Tests and chalked up 28 centuries.

But he is confident he is fitter than he has been for years and desperate to give something back to the sport in the wake of the disastrous end to the South African tour.

"I've never cared about age. Brad Hogg played at 45," Clarke was quoted as saying.

"I don't think it's about a number. I think it's about commitment and devotion. "It's like getting back on a bike. I'm as fit and healthy as I've ever been. "The time away has been great for my body."

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