Young, x-factor players like Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith won us 2015 World Cup, remembers Michael Clarke

Young, x-factor players like Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith won us 2015 World Cup, remembers Michael Clarke

no photo

Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke reckoned that it was the young, x-factor players in Australia’s 2015 squad like Mitchell Starc and Steve Smith who won the hosts the title. Clarke recalled how he battled setbacks physically and emotionally to sign off on his career as a World Cup winner.

Five years ago today — March 29, 2015 i.e. — Australia celebrated their fifth ODI World Cup triumph in front of more than 93,000 fans at the MCG. The hosts completed a convincing victory over neighbours New Zealand to cap off a dominant campaign that day. But what Clarke remembers from that day and that tournament are the young superstars that he had at his disposal. 

It was still early days in the careers of Smith, Starc, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Mitch Marsh — players who have gone on to become regulars in the national setup today. 

"My message throughout the whole tournament was 'play with freedom.' Those young x-factor players – Faulkner, Maxwell, Warner, Starc, Smith – won us that World Cup because they wanted to shine on the big stage, but they did the hard work to allow them to shine on the big stage. Us older farts, we just sat back and clapped. They were unbelievable, brilliant," Clarke told

Clarke was all smiles walking laps of honour at the MCG in what was his last ODI appearance. But his mood was completely different just five months earlier when post-injury surgery had threatened to end his career altogether shortly after the death of his close friend and cricketer, Phillip Hughes

"I don't like to compare 2007 and 2015, (they're) both as special as each other. But personally, just what I went through with my hamstring and the loss of 'Hughesy' (Phillip Hughes, Clarke's close friend who passed away in November 2014) and battles with Cricket Australia to get back into that team, out of everything what I'm most proud of is how the boys played throughout that whole tournament. How hard they trained, how disciplined with stuff off the field, they were so committed to our cause and our goal that I can say now five years on we deserved to win that World Cup,” Clarke added.

Get updates! Follow us on

Open all