Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Dubai-Bound Clarke Says Wicket-Keeping “integral Part Of My Game”

Dubai-Bound Clarke Says Wicket-Keeping “integral Part Of My Game”

Joe Clarke says he views wicket-keeping as "an integral part of my game" as he prepares to fly out to Dubai for a three week training camp as part of the England Performace Programme (EPP).

Clarke broke into the Worcestershire side in purely a batting role mid-way through last season and impressed sufficiently to be selected for the EPP ahead of five T20 matches for England Lions against Pakistan 'A'.

But he is keen to continue with improving his glove work and maintaining a dual role.

Clarke was the England Under-19s wicket-keeper when they reached the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup and was behind the stumps regularly for Worcestershire Seconds before his senior call-up.

Clarke said: "I do see it as an integral part of my game. I was still practicing during the season even if it was before we came in during the morning or at lunch-times.

"I'm still trying to keep that ticking because I don't want to lose that part of my game and go in the one direction.

"I want to have that other aspect to my game. I think it is key."

In terms of his role with The Lions, Clarke said: "I think there are two other lads, Sam Billings and Ben Foakes. I'm not sure what will happen in terms of the keeping.

"I'll just look to do as much training out there as I can with my keeping and if I get some game-time that will be brilliant as well."

Clarke and New Road team-mate Ross Whiteley will be part of the EPP batsmen, spinners and wicket-keepers squad based at a training camp in Dubai from November 11 to December 1 ahead of the five T20 games.

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes, who is part of the Lions coaching set-up this winter, will fly out to join the squad on November 24 before flying home on December 17 – the day after the fifth T20.