Monday, October 17th, 2016

Clarke Aiming To Boost England Hopes By Emulating Duckett And Hameed

Clarke Aiming To Boost England Hopes By Emulating Duckett And Hameed

Joe Clarke is setting his sights on emulating the performances of Haseeb Hameed and Ben Duckett this summer by having a prolific 2017 campaign – to boost his own chances of a full England call-up.

Lancashire opener Hameed and Northamptonshire batsman Duckett are both poised to make their first Test appearances against Bangladesh in Chittagong this week after excellent domestic seasons.

Clarke himself scored 1,200 County Championship runs in his first full season for Worcestershire with five centuries and was again voted the club's Young Player Of The Year. 

But it is a mark of his ambitions that he wants to do even better for the County and with England Lions for whom he has been a regular member during the past 12 months.

Clarke had indicated that his goal was to be in the England side by the end of his current three year contract which he signed last autumn.

He said: "Am I making progress towards that goal? Definitely. I'm a bit disappointed with my season because you look at the lads who've just got picked (by England), Haseeb Hameed and Ben Duckett, and they have had outstanding seasons.

"It was the sort of season I was looking for this year, to score a mass of runs.

"They've done it and got the rewards and that is the sort of season I'll be looking to produce next season.

"To get more in England contention? Definitely. For me, you've got to keep improving.

"I've got over the 1,000 runs this year and next year I'll reassess my goals and at this moment in time, that's the season I'll be looking to have, one like Duckett."

Clarke is also keen to make a big impression with the Lions this winter, initially in a series of training camps before a programe in the UAE.

He said: "This will be my third Lions experience this winter and I don't know how many people get that many opportunities.

"But it is time for me to, even though I'm young, to mature a little bit and see the bigger picture and start putting in some performances for them.

"Hopefully I'll have the chance to score big runs this winter and I need to take that."

*Read a full interview with Joe Clarke on the Worcestershire CCC website during the next few days.