Clarke not ruling out Australia return

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke was unwilling to rule out a potential return if needed.

Michael Clarke and Steve Smith   -  Getty Images

Michael Clarke refused to rule out a return as Australia captain after the ball-tampering controversy in South Africa.

Skipper Steve Smith is under fire after batsman Cameron Bancroft was charged with "attempting to change the condition of the ball" on day three of the third Test.

Smith admitted Australia's leadership group devised a plan to try to gain an advantage in Cape Town.

Clarke, who played his last international in 2015 before retiring, was unwilling to rule out a potential return if needed.

"If I was asked by the right people, then I would think about my answer," he told Channel Nine when asked if taking the captaincy was a possibility.

However, Clarke said he was keen to see Smith, who is under pressure to remain as captain after the incident, continue in the role.

"Steve Smith wants to captain Australia and in my heart I believe he has just made a really, really bad mistake and I hope there can be a way around this that he can continue to captain Australia," he said.

"This is so raw right now. This is not about me at all, this is about Australian cricket and the future of Australian cricket and where these current players and where this current structure and leadership sits.

"My job is to make sure I can help this game come back from this."

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