Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Clarke: Top Flight Is Where You Want To Play And Test Yourself

Joe Clarke is already licking his lips at the prospect of playing Division One cricket in the County Championship next summer and the Worcestershire batsman admitted: “it is where you want to test yourself.”

Clarke has already had a taste of the top flight after breaking into the Worcestershire side mid-way through the 2015 season.

The England Lions player, currently preparing for his winter duties in Australia, scored a total of 530 runs at an average of 35.33 with one hundred and four half centuries.

But next summer will represent Clarke’s first full season at that level and he is optimistic the County can acquit themselves well after securing promotion three weeks ago.

The 21-year-old said: “To be playing in Division One next year is what everyone wants at the club and it’s where the club wants to be.

“It was fantastic to get over the line and to go up as Champions made it even sweeter.

“It is where you want to test yourself. In my opinion, it’s where all the best players play.

“It’s much tougher cricket, more consistent, better bowling attacks and better batting line-ups.

“It is certainly going to be a good challenge for us next year. But with the squad we’ve got, we are more than capable of competing and doing something similar to what Essex did this year.”

Regarding his initial spell of Division One cricket, Clarke said: “It makes you learn a lot quicker.

“You’ve got no time to think about anything really, you are being put under pressure straight away and luckily enough, it seemed to go okay.

“A lot of the boys have that experience of Division One from 2015, which will be good for us next year.”