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Thrilled to coach: Michael Clarke

The 35-year-old Clarke retired from international cricket after the 2015 Ashes in England.

IANS | Canberra |

Former skipper Michael Clarke is "thrilled" to debut as a coach when he takes the mantle of the Prime Minister’s XI that will take on Sri Lanka in a warm-up T20 cricket match at the Manuka Oval here on February 15.

The 35-year-old Clarke, who retired from international cricket after the 2015 Ashes in England, will mentor a side led by captain Adam Voges that includes veteran George Bailey, opener Joe Burns, paceman James Pattinson and a host of the brightest young talent in the country.

"The squad has a really good mix of experienced players and some exciting young talent," Clarke was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia (CA) website.

"I played with and against quite a few players in the team during my career, including captain Adam Voges, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside him."

Clarke feels that the match will provide an opportunity for talented youngsters like Will Pucovski, Arjun Nair and Jason Sangha to showcase their potential against an international opponent.

"Most importantly, this is a great opportunity for all the players in the side to perform against a strong international team," he said.

Clarke, who represented the Kangaroos in 115 Tests, besides playing 245 One-day Internationals and 34 T20 Internationals, said his side will give a strong fight to the islanders.

"I think we'll be really competitive against Sri Lanka, and I know we can play an exciting brand of cricket in front of what will hopefully be a big crowd in Canberra," he added.

Clarke, who made his Test debut against India in 2004, amassed 8643 runs in the longest format with an unbeaten 329 being his highest individual score. He has 36 international hundreds to his name in all formats of the game.