Sport

Lions' Rikki Clarke celebrates Australian tour call-up

Rikki Clarke of the Lions skies a ball during the international tour match between Australia 'A' and England at Blundstone Arena on February 18, 2013 in Hobart, Australia.
Rikki Clarke of the Lions skies a ball during the international tour match between Australia 'A' and England at Blundstone Arena on February 18, 2013 in Hobart, Australia. Mark Nolan / Getty Images

THREE weeks ago, England Lions all-rounder Rikki Clarke was relaxing back home in Birmingham watching his beloved Tottenham Hotspur play on TV.

He even had tickets to go and watch his side in Premier League action at West Bromwich Albion - that was until his got a surprise late call-up to tour Australia with the Lions.

The 31-year-old replaced his Warwickshire teammate Chris Woakes in the squad after Woakes got drafted into the main England team for the current ODI series against New Zealand.

"It was completely unexpected. One moment I was sitting down at home, the next thing I'm being told that I will be flying out with the Lions the following week," Clarke, who equalled the first-class record of seven catches for an outfielder in an innings against Lancashire in 2011, said.

"Now I'm in Australia. It's a bit of a shock but I'm delighted to be here."

The Lions, formerly known as England A, is made up of a mix of promising young players and those on the cusp of the full international team.

Missing the chance to watch Spurs will be a small sacrifice for Clarke if it means he gets the chance to add to the two Test caps and 20 ODIs he has played since making his Test debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2003.

He did his cause no harm by taking 4-55 as the Lions dismal tour of Australia continued as they slumped to a fifth consecutive loss following the 122-run trouncing at the hands of Australia A in the second ODI in Hobart on Monday

Clarke's victims included Joe Burns, but not before the Queenslander, the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, had scored 114.

"I've still got massive aspirations to play for my country again and I knew that the Lions was probably the avenue back in for me," Clarke said.

As for his love for Spurs, Clarke said he had no choice - he's even named after the man who scored the most famous goal in Tottenham's history - Ricky Villa's spectacular solo effort against Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup final replay at Wembley.

Villa went past four defenders before scoring and Rikki's father Rob, a huge Spurs fan, was there to see it.

"I was to be called Glenn (after England and Spurs star Glenn Hoddle), but one of dad's friends named his son Glenn. So I got Rikki because of that goal."

Topics:  australia, cricket



Blood thicker than water for ex-Shark Wheeler

Mal Wheeler will be cheering son-in-law Blair on in Sunday's grand final. Blair is pictured scoring a try against Canberra in last weekend's preliminary final.

I have my shirt and beanie and they're both purple.

Which was the best flower at the Murwillumbah Garden Show?

WINNER: Murwillumbah and District Garden Club president Wayne Tagget with Ted Chilcott's winning entry for the general cut flower section.

IN A sea of bright blooms there could only be one champion.

Tweed product Cheysing NRL premiership dream

STORMING: Tweed Heads and Bilambil Jets' product Cheyse Blair scores a try for the Melbourne Storm during the NRL preliminary final against the Canberra Raiders.

Former Bilambil jet in NRL's big dance.

Local Partners

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E6: Suckas Need Bodyguards review

Rosario Dawson and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E5: Just To Get A Rep review

Mahershala Ali, centre, in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E4: Step In The Arena review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Rob Kardashian admits his first crush was his sister Kim

Rob Kardashian once had a crush on his sister Kim Kardashian West.

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Penthouse in beach paradise

Take in the beach front views from the balcony of 701/ 4-10 Douglas Street, Kirra.

This beachfront penthouse is the perfect place to enjoy the views.

Casuarina sets the benchmark in Tweed market

Our property market is as strong as it's been since the crisis

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record