Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Mitchell Says Clarke Has Qualities To Achieve “higher Honours”

Mitchell Says Clarke Has Qualities To Achieve “higher Honours”

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell says Joe Clarke "has all the attributes to up to higher honours" as he approaches the end of a memorable first full season of county cricket.

Clarke has scored five hundreds and a 98 in becoming the first Worcestershire batsman to complete 1,000 first class runs this summer.

It follows on from a promising baptism last summer after a second double century for the Second Eleven – the first Worcestershire player to achieve that feat – earned his elevation to senior level.

That led to a place in the England Lions squad for the tour of the UAE against Pakistan 'A' last winter when 20-year-old Clarke was part of the T20 and 50 over squads either side of Christmas.

More Lions recognition has followed this summer versus Sri Lanka 'A' and Mitchell believes higher international honours are within his capabilities.

Clarke has certainly thrived in pressure situations and signficantly scored centuries when Worcestershire were chasing – and reached – daunting targets against Northants and Leicestershire.

Mitchell, whose side return to Championship action against Sussex at Hove on Monday, said: "I can guarantee this season won't be the last time that Joe goes past 1,000 runs, that's for sure!

"He is a fine talent. He has come into first class cricket and really taken to it. He played well in Division One last year in the second half of the season.

"He has been our outstanding batsman this season definitely and he likes the pressure situations as well.

"He came in at 30-2 chasing 400 against Northants and scored an excellent century in what was our record run chase at New Road.

"Then previously he hit a magnifcent hundred against Leicestershire in a high chase as well (366) when the pressure was on us.

"He has got all the attributes to go up to higher honours I would imagine."