A chance of grasping true immortality by passing Brian Lara's Test record and Michael Clarke declines a once in a lifetime opportunity by declaring on himself while unbeaten on 329. I am sure many are going to have heads in hands for a good while trying to fathom his decision to do this. For with how he was batting and with how limp the whole Indian team had become it was near certain he would have coasted past 400.
In truth the innings and the declaration will become part of cricketing folklore a bit on the level of the tale of Don Bradman getting out for a duck in his last innings because tears were welling in his eyes. You know for years to come in pubs around Australia and indeed the World the 'Clarke Declaration' will come up.
Forgotten as time rolls on will be the profound meaning of his selfless action. In that one act to put Team before his own stake to legendary status he proved himself to be a truly inspirational leader.
Which in an age where Australia is trying hard to re-establish itself as a power entity in Test Cricket is of more value than some individual record. It is so in keeping with the man known as 'The Pup' too in regards to Australia has always been put first by him.
You just have to think of his constant rejection of the riches on offer to him in the Indian Premier League and the Australian Big Bash to see this. He cares not for a few coins of gold with his heart only being filled with a desire to pay homage and bring honour to the Baggy Green.
In truth this realisation makes you feel a bit ashamed for most of us who follow the Australian Team have taken pot shots at Clarke in the recent past. For his metro sexual image that so rankles us when he has struggled for we thought he did not care. Even after a disastrous Ashes campaign with Australia being mauled by England, Clarke's face was on many a dart board, and then when he got given the Captaincy.
Well, it was about as popular in Australia as a Pub with no Beer would be
How he has well and truly shoved it up all his doubters! First with his brilliant form with the bat as Captain and his enthusiastic and pragmatic leadership that has aided in the victories Australia has been achieved. Then today, he sealed his legend as not being in the record books for a score, but more importantly for him being near certain of being viewed as a great Australia Captain.
Invariably this all will be forgotten with the fans and Media who have such an hysterical obsession over individual records meaning they will focus on what might have been. Rather than what had been created and so cast in stone. Even going so far in many quarters to condemn him by the fact that with half the game left there was every reason to pass the mark and next to no reason to declare.
Though with this one selfless act, the inspiration he has given to his team mates and those aspiring to grace the Baggy Green would give any one chicken skin. That will help speed up the rise of the Australian Team back to its place at the Test summit.
For this....... I raise my glass to you in salute Michael Clarke!