THE 2016-17 cricket season was the best of Hawkesbury Cricket Club’s Josh Clarke’s career in his own estimation.
The club has seen an injection of fresh talent in the past season, and while many contributed, Clarke’s four regular season centuries – plus another to send the club into the one-day final – has had the most striking impact.
Clarke finished the season with 881 runs at an average of 73.42. He was just behind Sydney University’s Nicholas Larkin, who had 886 runs and led NSW Premier Cricket scoring for the season.
The young batsman made the move to the club this season, after playing for Campbelltown-Camden, and growing up in Penrith.
The move has been a smooth transition to put it lightly.
“I think it was a pretty dream season for me really,” he said.
“It started pretty well and it continued all the way through and it was good to finish off the season with a century at the end and with a win.”
Clarke said his century in the one-day qualifying final was his favourite.
“We were chasing 220 and to carry the boys all the way through and to progress through to the next final was the best feeling,” he said.
Clarke said he was pleased by his performances with the bat but also that the club won some big games during the year.
“It is probably the best season of grade cricket I've had so far,” he said.
“Not just personally, but making the quarter finals in the T20 competition and the one-day final.
“It is a club that looks like it is really moving forward.”
Clarke played a handful of NSW Futures League games, and said his ultimate goal was to see himself find a way into the NSW team.
“That is the next goal for me. I have played two and a half futures league games for NSW. I felt comfortable without making a big score,” he said.
“I think the opportunity is there. If I keep scoring runs at Hawkesbury things will take care of themselves.”
While NSW is on his radar, Clarke said he was excited about the direction Hawkesbury was headed in.
“There is plenty of room for improvement and the boys will work hard over the off-season,” he said.
“Hopefully we can look to get into the top six or eight in the club championship which is not too far off.”
He added that he felt completely at home at the club.
“I think I've fitted in really well and that is credit to everyone who is involved with the club,” he said.