Joe Clarke’s move to Perth Scorchers in Australia’s Big Bash League could represent another step up the ladder on the way to an England call up.
The former Oswestry batsman, 23, was the fifth highest run scorer in this year’s Vitality T20 Blast, with a strike rate of 175 per 100 balls – better than anyone else in the top 50 scorers in the competition.
The batsman is yet to represent England at senior level and has never appeared in franchise T20 cricket, but his form at domestic level last year coupled with a good performance in the Big Bash could propel him into the vision of the selectors.
Clarke, who signed for Scorchers alongside big hitting New Zealand opener Colin Munro, looks set to line up in mid December for his new outfit, in a competition that runs until early February.
It has been a sharp rise for Clarke, who scored five centuries in his first Championship season before going on to post solid scores with the England Lions.
He arguably could have already made his way into the England senior set up, but a call up is yet to materialise.
According to ESPNCricinfo recently, the batsman, who also previously starred as a wicketkeeper earlier in his career, is understood to have been considered for a place in England’s limited overs squad for the upcoming tour to South Africa.
However with the likes of Dawid Malan currently sitting at number one in the T20I batsman rankings, ESPN state that Clarke has been obliged to bide his time and wait for the full call.
The website also claims Clarke has been brought in as a direct replacement for Jason Roy, who has England responsibilities while the tournament is taking place down under.
Clarke has been hotly tipped previously by the best in the game to make the step up to international level.
The Big Bash League could aid that and I’m sure if he’s hitting consistently big scores for Perth, the selectors heads may well turn.