Clarke keen to keep Stars moving forward
Middle-order batter Joe Clarke has said he’s prepared to keep wicket for the Melbourne Stars in BBL|11, the club he chose thanks to a phone call from mentor Dave Hussey
2 December 2021, 01:40 PM AEST
It took one phone call to convince English wicket keeper Joe Clarke that the Melbourne Stars were the club for him for the upcoming BBL|11 season.
Dave Hussey, the Melbourne Stars coach, was on the other end of the line, keen to get the middle-order batter on board with the men in green for the Australian summer.
Hussey and Clarke share a connection through county side Nottinghamshire, where Clarke has played since 2019 and Hussey played 70 T20 matches between 2004 and 2013.
“I got a phone call at the end of our English season, Dave Hussey played for my county back home, so the connection and opportunity was there,” Clarke told reporters on Wednesday.
The choice was a no-brainer for Clarke who arrived in Melbourne last month, returning to the competition after playing for the Perth Scorchers in BBL|10.
“I jumped at the opportunity to come play for a big club like the Stars. I would have loved to play more games last season,” he said.
The @MCG is going to be pumping in #BBL11 🏟#TeamGreen #StarsTakeover #BBL11 pic.twitter.com/9vT9l3aAVe— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 2, 2021
Clarke comes to the aid of the Stars with regular keeper Seb Gotch suffering a finger injury.
He has recently filled in as a gloveman in Pakistan having previously taken a few years off keeping to focus on his batting.
“I went to play in the Pakistan Super League and had experience keeping there. It’s something I’m looking forward to here.”
As for the MCG, the Stars’ home ground, Clarke says he’s spent the most time preparing for its size.
“I have to adapt my game to the ground, which is fantastic,” Clarke said.
Young Stars towering fast bowler Sam Elliott echoed the MCG praise, saying it’s been a hard ground for their competition to adapt to.
“The MCG has been a fortress for us the last couple of years,” Elliott told the media on Wednesday.
“But any ground you play on has it’s different dimensions, so our aim is to continue adapting to the MCG.”
And as the Stars get underway on Sunday against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG, Clarke will be keeping an eye out for his teammates from back home, with the likes of Alex Hales and Tom Curran competing in BBL|11.
“Of course, I’ll be looking out and hoping they do well personally, but not against us,” Clarke said.
STARS BBL|11 Squad: Glenn Maxwell (C), Qais Ahmad, Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Joe Clarke, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Elliott, Syed Faridoun, Seb Gotch, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchliffe, Nick Larkin, Tom O’Connell, Sam Rainbird, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster, Adam Zampa
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