Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Clarke Relishing Opportunity To Renew Link With New England Duo

Joe Clarke is relishing the prospect of renewing acquaintances with new England heroes Keaton Jennings and Haseeb Hameed during the Lions tour of Sri Lanka during February and March.

And the Worcestershire batsman and his Lions team-mates are hoping to "take anything we can off them" to bolster their own chances of making the full England breakthrough.

Clarke played alongside Hameed at England Under-19 level and the Lancashire batsman impressed on his full Test debut with 219 runs in three matches versus India before suffering a broken finger in Mohali.

Then this winter Clarke was in the same Lions side as Jennings before he scored a century on his Test debut – as Hameed's replacement – against India.

Jennings will skipper the Lions in the two four-dayers and five 50 over matches with Hameed featuring in the four-day squad.

Clarke, who is part of both squads, said: "I have played with them both. I played with 'Has' in the England Under-19s and it's really good to see he has got into the full England side and done really well and I'm really happy for him.

"I was more closely involved with Keaton with the Lions and we were all with him when he got the England call-up for India and we were all looking out for him on that first day when he got a hundred.

"It will be good to rub shoulders with those lads who have had a taste of full international cricket because it is what all the other lads in the Lions set-up want to achieve as soon as they can.

"To rub shoulders with those boys……I think we will all be taking anything we can off them and how they have dealt with it (playing for England) so well after getting into the team.

"It will be really good to see how they perform out there – and play alongside them hopefully."