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



Raiders' culture club rising in 2017

Tweed Coast have retained the nucleus of their senior side as they push for a top-three finish in 2017.

If we don't get a home semi-final this year we haven't down our job

Gallen honours Mustangs player with moving tribute

Paul Gallen holds up a special Mustangs jersey featuring Grant Cook

'Cronulla are thinking of you and good luck for the future'

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Local Partners

Why Emma Watson turned down Cinderella

Emma Watson in a scene from the movie Beauty and the Beast.

HARRY Potter star has standards when it comes to Disney princesses.

Wonder Woman a ‘disjointed disaster’, says DC insider

Gal Gadot in a scene from the movie Wonder Woman.

INSIDER says the much-hyped blockbuster will disappoint.

Kid nails Swift impersonation

Seven-year-old Xia Vigor nails Taylor Swift impersonation on the Philippine talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

TAYLOR Swift has a seven-year-old doppelganger.

Ariana Grande 'hardest working 23-year-old on Earth'?

Ariana Grande

Not everyone was impressed with Grande’s self-proclaimed work ethic

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!