Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Rhodes Salutes Ton-Up Joe And Is Excited By His Qualities

Rhodes Salutes Ton-Up Joe And Is Excited By His Qualities

Steve Rhodes was full of praise for Worcestershire youngster Joe Clarke after he scored his maiden century for the senior side and said: "We are so excited by his qualities."

Clarke hit an unbeaten 131 not out from 109 balls in the Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Gloucestershire who triumphed by four wickets at New Road.

It followed on from his half century against Surrey at the Kia Oval last night and 88 in his last LV = County Championship appearance against champions Yorkshire at Scarborough.

Rhodes said: "I thought it was a tremendous effort from Joe Clarke. To get his highest score in List A cricket and his first century was brilliant.

"For a young kid, he shows a lot of promise for the future and we are so excited by his qualities.

"Do I forget Joe is 19? Yes, we saw the lad for Surrey last night at 17, Sam Curran, great skills and there are lots of good young players around in English cricket.

"I'm really excited by the talent that is out there and I'm really glad Joe showed his class today."

Rhodes is concious of developing young players who will not only be good enough to play for Worcestershire but potentially England in the future.

He said: "We're really proud of what we have tried our best to develop and we know how important it is for Worcestershire's future but also really importantly we are in this for the development of players that hopefully one day might go and play for England.

"We are trying to win games and competitions along the way but we are desperate to provide an avenue for them to try and get into the England squad."

Rhodes conceded that Gloucestershire deserved their victory although he felt the rain break when Clarke and Tom Fell were scoring freely did not do Worcestershire any favours.

He said: "It was a funny game because of that rain interruption. Joe and Tom Fell were going well and it was the last thing we wanted, to stop for rain, and then the computer (Duckworth-Lewis) came up with the same score (265) which I thought was strange.

"But I thought Gloucestershire all-round played better than us and it showed. They were worthy of the victory. Their bowling was better, their fielding was definitely better and they batted better so they deserved to win."

Rhodes added: "I think it has been a challenge mentally for the team throughout this 50 over competition. I've not looked at it but I suspect the lads (teams) who have qualified for the T20 might not have had a great campaign in the 50 over competition.

"It maybe is a bit of a natural reaction that your eyes are on the big matches around the corner, a Twenty20 over quarter-final, and obviously we are fighting for the four-day competition as well.

"We are desperate to stay in Division One and maybe sometimes when you put so much effort in possibly this is one competition too far for us."