Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Clarke Determined To Be In Best Possible Shape For First Full Year As New Road Pro

Clarke Determined To Be In Best Possible Shape For First Full Year As New Road Pro

Worcestershire wicket-keeper Joe Clarke admits he is trying to ensure he will be in the best possible form and physical condition for his first full year as a professional cricketer with Worcestershire in 2015 via his current spell in Australia.

England Under-19 player Clarke is playing for South Perth CC this winter and registered his first half century for them in the weekend Western Australian Cricket Association first grade clash with Melville.

Clarke, Worcestershire's highest run-scorer in the Second Eleven Championship last season, hit 55 off 83 balls.

An indication of Clarke's determination to make the most of his trip Down Under is that he also turned out for the club's Colts team the following day and scored 95.

He said: "I have settled in well, got straight into my cricket training and gym work, and the standard of cricket has been good.

"We've probably played the poorer sides in the games I've been involved in, so I've been told, but there are some very good players on show, and it will certainly become a lot stronger now the Western Australia lads are going to be more involved now.

"It was a relief to get some runs under my belt at the weekend and more crucially some time in the middle.

"I've been batting at number seven in the first team and I'd only batted once before Saturday and then I came in with three overs to go!

"Luckily, I'm available for our Colts side which is pretty big over here and I scored 95 on Sunday for them so it was a good weekend for me to go on and push for more runs over the next couple of weeks.

"I've also been really pleased with my wicket keeping so far, have taken some good catches and feel as though I have a really good rhythm at the moment which is another massive positive for me personally."

Clarke is aware of the significance of this winter in terms of his cricket development.

He said: "You can have some days where you can have an afternoon of relaxing. I've been playing a lot of golf and going to the beach.

"But it's a huge winter for me to nail both my cricket training and physical training as it's my first full year as a pro coming up, so I'm spending most days in the gym and in the nets trying to get in the best shape I can for the return to Worcester in March."

Clarke registered the highest ever score by a Worcestershire player in the Second Eleven Championship with his 222 against MCC Young Cricketers last summer.