Joe Clarke was born in Shrewsbury on 26 May 1996 and was educated at Llanfyllin High School. He plays as a right-hand batsman who can also keep wicket, and was described by a former coach as someone who “could become the new Joe Root”. He made his First-Class debut in 2015 playing for Worcestershire against Hampshire at Southampton, when he scored only six runs in a drawn match.
Clarke has also been a frequent member of England Lions squads. In 2015 he became the first teenager to be selected for the England Lions squad since Joe Root, when he toured the UAE to play against Pakistan ‘A’. His talent also led to his inclusion in the ECB’s 2018 ‘North vs South’ one-day series in which he scored a game-winning century in the third, and deciding, match of the series.
Clarke left his first county to join Nottinghamshire in 2019, making his debut against Cambridge MCCU at Fenner’s. He arrived as one of the most talented batsmen in county cricket, having already recorded thirteen First-Class centuries playing for Worcestershire at an average of nearly 40. He made a fantastic start to his Nottinghamshire career scoring 112 and 97 not out against Yorkshire in a drawn match.
Hitting two further centuries in the County Championship, Clarke ended his debut season with 621 runs at an average of 31.05 including three hundreds and a highest score of 125.
Despite his inconsistency in First-Class cricket, Clarke was in stellar form during the 2019 One Day Cup, finishing the tournament as Nottinghamshire’s highest scorer with 340 runs at an average of 42.5. Opening the batting, Clarke helped his team qualify from the North Group in first place before being unable to prevent them from losing in the semi-final to eventual champions Somerset.
Clarke was also a solid performer in Nottinghamshire’s run to the 2019 T20 Finals Day where they also lost in the semi-final, this time to his former county Worcestershire by just one run. During the 2019 Vitality Blast Clarke scored 248 runs at a healthy average of 27.56.