Clarke had never contemplated giving away cricket at any stage

ANI| Updated: Oct 29, 2013, 12:17 PM IST

Melbourne: Injured Australian captain Michael Clarke has reiterated his stance on his future in the game, saying that at no stage had he ever contemplated `giving the game away` as he loves it `too much`.

Clarke, who has been named in the 12-man New South Wales (NSW) squad for the Sheffield Shield opener against Tasmania, believes that the approaching Shield matches will be important indicators for the winter Ashes series.

According to, Clarke expressed his confidence that he would be fit enough to play in every Ashes Test this winter in the same way he did earlier this year, adding that if he can continue to add to his 97 back-to-back Tests despite his back injury, he is confident that he has plenty of cricket left in him.

Stating that he has been dealing with his back problem since he was a teenager, Clarke insisted that at no stage had he ever contemplated giving the game away, adding that he is no different than other professional sportsmen who also take the field despite facing physical injury.

Clarke further said that he has degeneration in three of his spinal discs, thereby requiring constant maintenance, adding that although he will always continue to experience some stiffness and pain, he is countering it with physiotherapy , strength work, rehabilitation and recovery.