Australia skipper Michael Clarke won't play till late 30s

Adelaide: Australia's cricket captain Michael Clarke revealed that he won't play cricket into his late 30s due to a back problem that was diagnosed at the age of 17.

Clarke was diagnosed with three degenerative discs in his back when aged 17. The 31-year-old, however, was confident that the back problem, which side-lined him during the last Australian summer and partly on the recent West Indies tour, would not curtail his playing career.

"Unfortunately degeneration, it can't improve, so it's about now managing my condition," said Clarke while delivering the lecture at the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia's annual convention.

Clarke said that before retiring, he would like the team to have success.

"I'd love to see this team have success, achieve everything it wants to achieve. And then I think that is time for me to give the reins to somebody else and go and start the other side of life I guess - get involved in some sort of business and have a family and do all the things that are special to me and I still want to do when my cricket career is over," he said.

Clarke also said that he was forced him to keep his wedding a secret from his parents because he is never comfortable with the scrutiny of his private life.

Clarke wed Kyly Boldy last week at a luxury resort in the New South Wales Blue Mountains and it was attended by family and close friends.

"We told nobody, our parents didn't know. We invited a small group of people to come away on a holiday with us for what they thought was a family holiday with us. And we shocked our family, let alone the world," he said.

Clarke said he is is ready to accept on-field scrutiny but is never comfortable with it off-field.

"I think I find the scrutiny on the field quite easy to deal with ... the stuff that I have probably found hard, and still find hard to accept, is the off-the-field stuff.

"When I was vice-captain I had a lot of media scrutiny anyway, so I was accustomed to the stuff off the field, so nothing has really changed as captain," he said.

Clarke also said that spin wizard Shane Warne was his biggest cricket influence.

"Yes, I do believe if he wanted to continue to play - no doubt he's as fit and as strong as I have ever seen him - so he could certainly still be playing Test cricket," he said. (IANS)