• Joe Clarke – Master Blaster!

    Posted on June 14th, 2021

    Joe Clarke of Nottinghamshire Outlaws, last year’s winner of the Walter Lawrence Trophy, has set the pace for this year’s coveted award with a blazing 49-ball hundred scored in the Vitality Blast Northern Group match against Northamptonshire Steelbacks on June 13.

    After winning the toss at Northampton, and in searing heat, opener Clarke batted all but three balls of Notts’ innings of 214 -7, a total which proved too tall for Northants, who finished 14 runs short.

    Clarke, who claimed the 2020 Walter Lawrence Trophy with a 44-ball hundred against Durham, brought up his hundred in typically swashbuckling style with his 8th six of the innings to go with 4 fours. The 25-year-old went on to score 136, which included 6 fours and 11 sixes: it was his highest T20 score and the 8th best T20 score in England, where his total of 11 sixes has only been surpassed by former Walter Lawrence Trophy winners Cameron Delport and Graham Napier, both of Essex, and Chris Gayle of Somerset.

    Clarke was born in Shrewsbury and started his cricket career with Shropshire before joining the Worcestershire Academy and the England Under-19s. He made his first-class debut for Worcestershire against Hampshire at Southampton in 2015 and, in the same year, was called up for England Lions for their tour against Pakistan A in Dubai, where he became the first teenage debutant since Joe Root.

    After successful seasons at Worcestershire, where he scored 12 Championship hundreds, the ambitious and highly talented batsman and wicket-keeper was snapped up by Nottinghamshire in 2018. His current form suggests that England selectors should be giving him some serious consideration with the forthcoming T20 World Cup looming.

    Nottinghamshire v Northamptonshire scorecard
    Joe Clarke’s career statistics

    The Walter Lawrence Trophy, now in its 87th year, is awarded for the fastest hundred of the season and is open to all domestic county competitions as well as One-Day Internationals, T20 Internationals, The Hundred and Test matches in England. The Walter Lawrence Women’s Award is awarded for the highest individual score in a season from ECB Women’s one-day competitions and all England Women’s matches played on home soil. The Walter Lawrence Schools Award is awarded for the highest score by a school batsman against MCC.