Clarke upbeat as he looks forward to another season

Clarke upbeat as he looks forward to another season

Warwickshire's Rikki Clarke had a great season in 2015. Playing in all 39 matches across three competitions, he scored 824 runs, took 47 wickets and held on to 36 catches. He finished fourth in the national PCA Most Valuable Players ratings. As he enters his 16th season as a professional cricketer, he talks here to Deep Extra Cover's Terry Wright about his changed approach to his cricket.

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Deep Extra Cover: Rikki, you’ve already had a good start to the season in the MCC v Yorkshire game in Abu Dhabi – a couple of wickets and 91 runs in the match.

Rikki Clarke: Well, as you get older, you get to know your body a little bit more and try to pick up where you left off. I had a good season last year and managed to play every single game.

DEC: Yes, you and Jeetan Patel, who are not the youngest members of the side, both played in every match for the Bears last season.Clarke

RC: Well, I’ve got a few little niggles here and there but I can manage them and get through them. I hope it stays like that and I get no serious injuries and try and play every game again. It’s a case of doing what I’ve done the last few years, keeping it very simple. On my day, things go well. When you have a bad day, you come back for the next game and it could be your day then.

We play a lot of cricket so I think that, over the years, I’ve learnt that I’m not going to get it right all the time and the sooner I can forget about those bad days, the better it is.

DEC: Would you say you are playing as well as you ever have?

RC: Yes. I would say for the last four or five years, particularly coming to Warwickshire, it’s been definitely something for me that has worked. I’ve matured probably as a person and as a cricketer and that’s helped a lot.

DEC: Is that just down to you or have other people helped?

RC: Ashley Giles and Graeme Welch were massive factors. Jim Troughton as well when he took over the captaincy, he helped me a hell of a lot. And so I’ve gone from there and kept it going.

DEC: So are you expecting to finish your cricketing days at Edgbaston?

RC: Oh, yes, no more moves. I’m not sure how long I’ve got left so I’ll try and enjoy each day as it comes. This is my 16th season as a professional. I’ve always aimed to get to 20 seasons; that would be brilliant. It’s just a case of each day as it comes, try and keep fit.

DEC: Do you feel that you can be an influence on the younger players here?

RC: Yes, that’s definitely part of my role as a senior guy – to be a role model. If you’ve got a younger guy coming in, you try to give him a bit of knowledge. Fundamentally I think that young guys have to work it out for themselves, but it’s always good to give them a little nudge and point them in the right direction.

DEC: And life after cricket?

RC: I’ve done some work experience in Dubai where my dad works and essentially, that’s where I see my future. I’ve done my level two coaching badge, I hope to do level three as well and potentially have coaching as a back up.

DEC: Thanks, Rikki, and best of luck for your 16th season and onwards.

 

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