Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Clarke Linking Up With Lions And Determined To Make Impact

Clarke Linking Up With Lions And Determined To Make Impact

Joe Clarke is determined to make the most of his third spell with the England Lions and is eager to "start putting in some performances for them" this winter.

The Worcestershire wicket-keeper-batsman will link up with the Lions squad at Sandhurst tomorrow and Monday, then a training cap at the National Performance Centre at Loughborough from Tuesday to Friday.

They will then fly out to Dubai on November 16 and play three one-dayers against the UAE on December 1, 3 and 5 and a first class game versus Afghanistan on December 8-10.

The squad will fly home on December 12 with a squad then selected for the tour of Sri Lanka in February-March.

Clarke was part of the Lions squad which played Pakistan 'A' in five T20s and five ODIs in the UAE last winter and then took on Sri Lanka 'A' this summer although both times his involvement was curtailed through injury.

He has scored one half century for the Lions – in an ODI versus Pakistan 'A' – and is keen to put together a consistent run of scores.

Clarke, Worcestershire's leading run-scorer in the Specsavers County Championship last summer, said: "I've been selected for the first part of the winter and the next part gets selected after that.

"Hopefully I put in some performances and can spend a full winter with the Lions. To get picked for your third spell, it is good for me and my development.

"For a guy into my third Lions tour (spell), I should be putting in performances consistently for Worcestershire and the Lions.

"The winter plan is to be consistent for the Lions, get some big scores and hopefully get onto the tour to Sri Lanka after Christmas as well.

"This will be my third Lions experience 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."