Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Clarke Shelves Plans To Return Down Under After Lions Call-Up

Clarke Shelves Plans To Return Down Under After Lions Call-Up

Joe Clarke has had to shelve plans to return to play grade cricket in Australia – for at least the first half of this winter – because of his England Lions call-up.

The Worcestershire batsman-wicket-keeper had been earmarked to return to play for South Perth Cricket Club.

Clarke enjoyed an ultra successful first campaign Down Under, scoring one century -against Joondalup – and six fifties and earning praise from South Perth Director of Cricket Dirk Bevilaqua.

But instead his fine form after breaking into the Worcestershire side in late June means he will next month be part of a Lions batting camp before flying out to the UAE for the five match T20 series against Pakistan 'A' the following month.

A new Lions squad will then be selected for five ODIs against the same opposition in the New Year.

Nineteen-year-old Clarke said: "The trip to Perth is off. I won't be able to go before Christmas because of the Lions commitments which I am really looking forward to.

"You then have to get re-selected by the Lions for the matches after Christmas (50 overs) and if I'm not re-selected for that then I'll probably go over to Australia for a couple of months before we go back for pre-season.

"But the ambition is to get selected for the Lions 50 over games as well."

Clarke has made the transition from England Under-19s into the Lions set-up after a splendid second half of the season at New Road.

He said: "I think I am the only one from my Under-19s age group to go up into the Lions squad this time.

"But having Ross (Whiteley )there and Bumpy (Steve Rhodes) as well, it will be good."

*Read an interview with Joe Clarke about his first season at New Road and his thoughts on the Lions call-up on the Worcestershire CCC website later this week.