Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Clarke: Spell Playing For South Perth Beneficial To My Development

Clarke: Spell Playing For South Perth Beneficial To My Development

Worcestershire wicket-keeper batsman Joe Clarke believes a winter playing grade cricket for South Perth has been beneficial in his development "as a cricketer and as a person."

The England Under-19 player has carried on the favourable impression he made last summer in topping the county batting averages in the Second Eleven Championship and registering the county's highest ever score in the competition of 222 v MCC Young Cricketers.

Clarke has moved up from the middle order to the number three berth and scored six half centuries for South Perth after getting the all-clear from Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes to spend the winter Down Under.

He said: "I am very grateful to South Perth for the opportunity. It's been a great experience, one I feel has improved me as a cricketer and a person.

"As soon as I mentioned coming to Perth to Bumpy (Steve Rhodes), he was really keen as he knew how tough the cricket is out here.

"The standard has been good. There are a lot of guys who come to Perth and struggle so therefore I'm really pleased with how I'm performing personally."

As regards moving up the batting order, Clarke said: "I'd scored a few 50's batting at six-seven but was always coming in with 20 overs or less to bat.

"So after speaking with Bumpy, Sharpy (batting coach Kevin Sharp) and Mase (assistant coach Matt Mason), we agreed that I should speak to the captain and head coach of South Perth about going up the order.

"I've now batted number three after the Xmas break and have done well. I really like the pace on the ball, and feel as though it's more of a test.

"It's also really good for my mental and physical fitness. I could be fielding 80 overs of the day and then have to go out and bat a few overs! I'm loving it!"

*Joe will be highlighting his ambitions and aims for 2015 to the Worcestershire CCC website later in the week.