Former Australian cricket captain turned author, ambassador, commentator and father, Michael Clarke, suits up for a big 2017
How did you enjoy this fashion shoot for MAXIM, Pup?
I had a great day. The MAXIM crew were fantastic, a lot of fun, brilliant to work with and we shot at a great venue at Pink Salt restaurant, Sydney.
Do you consider yourself a bit of a fashionista?
No, not really. I have my own style, and I know what I feel comfortable in, and that’s what fashion is about – express yourself any way you like.
How would you describe your fashion style?
It depends on the occasion. I like to look smart, but comfort is still my number one priority.
You’re dressed by Hugo Boss in this shoot. What do you like best about their style?
I have always loved wearing Hugo Boss. I think their suits are extremely smart looking and fit me perfectly. I wear a suit to work every day and being comfortable in it is really important. Slim fit is more appropriate for my body shape — I like it to fit me but also allow me to move around comfortably and freely.
You’re also wearing some pricey pieces on your wrist thanks to an awesome collection of Hublot watches.
Hublot watches are very special. I think that women have a variety of statement pieces, where as men, we have our watch, which is why I love the detail that goes into making a Hublot watch. My favourite would be the Big Bang Gold Ceramic 44mm – it is a classy statement piece.
What’s the most embarrassing outfit you’ve ever worn in your life?
Anything my mum used to dress me in as a kid – sandals and socks were her speciality.
Has your wife Kyly ever frowned at anything you’ve worn in public?
I don’t think so — not that I know of. Well, not to my face anyway!
What have you been up to since you retired from cricket?
I launched my cricket academy — which you can find out more about at michaelclarkeacademy.com — a few years ago and I love being more involved with it. I’m also lucky enough to be an ambassador for a number of companies, as well as commentating for Channel Nine, and I’ve just started a digital component to my business. I’m busier now than when I was playing, but really enjoying life after cricket and being able to spend more time at home with my daughter is also a joy I cherish every day. I’m really happy with my decision to retire. I started playing cricket at six, so I played for 29 years! I feel I left at the perfect time and now have a beautiful family who make my decision even easier.
What was the toughest thing about being captain of the Australian cricket team?
I loved every minute of it – the highs and lows and getting the best out of your teammates. Also, getting the team from number five to number one in the world, in less than 18 months under my captaincy, is something I cherish and am very proud of.
Is it too hard to pick a top three highlights from your illustrious career?
I’ve had a lot of highlights throughout my career but the few that stand out are… winning the World Cup in 2007 and 2015, winning The Ashes 5-0 in 2007 and 2013 and scoring my last Test century for my little brother Phillip Hughes not long after he passed.
Nice one. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given current captain Steve Smith?
Always back yourself and captain your way.
How do you think the current Australian cricket team is going?
I think they are doing really well with a lot of new faces which is exciting for Australian cricket fans.
Would you do anything to improve this squad?
I wouldn’t do anything apart from let them play together for as long as possible. We have so much talent in Australia now that we need to give them some time.
Speaking of upcoming talent, tell us more about the Michael Clarke Cricket Academy.
I started my academy in 2013 and my goal was to give back to the game that I have always loved. I have tried to create a centre of excellence for young cricketers who want to take their game to the next level. I believe the best way to achieve that is to be very hands-on and show them how I prepared for my international games both on and off the field. I have assembled a great coaching team to deliver my specially designed programs in world-class facilities.
Yes, including the Chemist Warehouse Michael Clarke Cricket Coaching Clinic being held this month, right?
Yep, the MCCA [Michael Clarke Cricket Academy] partnered with Chemist Warehouse to give back, and this coaching clinic at Bankstown Memorial Oval in Sydney on January 24, for boys and girls aged between six and 16, is a fun day of skills training and small games and we always encourage the whole community to get involved. I always look forward to meeting everyone, too.
Being in the public eye a lot, you’ve had your fair share of controversy. How do handle it?
Highs and lows are part of life, and newspapers have to sell stories, so I accepted that my life, good and bad, will be seen by all. However, the people who are close to me know how I feel, and the truth behind what is written, and that is all that ever matters to me.
What’s the dumbest rumour you’ve heard or read about yourself?
That I flushed an engagement ring down my toilet – it’s laughable. I still don’t understand how an absolute made-up story like this can actually be printed in a newspaper.
Give us one sentence about what you’ve learnt, over the years, about the following…
MONEY? The best things in life are free!
CRICKET? It’s the greatest game on Earth.
SOCIAL MEDIA? Use it at your own peril.
WOMEN? They are always right!
Any big plans for 2017?
This year is all about being happy, healthy and trying to get better every day with everything I am doing.
Lastly, what does Australia have to do to win the next Ashes series beginning later this year?
Score one more run than England. Haha…
PHOTOGRAPHED BY RUPERT KALDOR
INTERVIEW BY SANTI PINTADO
STYLING BY ADRIANA DIB
GROOMING BY DANIELLE LAMY
MICHAEL WEARS HUGO BOSS AND HUBLOT WATCHES
LOCATION PINK SALT RESTAURANT, DOUBLE BAY SYDNEY