HAWKESBURY Cricket Club’s Josh Clarke got quite a thrill when he was a substitute fielder for Australia during the final test in the Ashes series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Clarke was the 13th man for Australia and was in the field for an over, allowing Mitch Marsh to take a brief spell from the field on the fourth day, when temperatures had skyrocketed to about 45 degrees in Sydney.
Clarke said it was great to get onto the field and be a part of the Australian team during its fourth victory of the Ashes series.
“It is a great thrill to do something like that and be around some of those guys who are at the top of their game. It is good to see how they go about things and how they prepare,” he said.
“It is a pretty surreal experience to see the way they go about things. You are a bit like a sponge, trying to soak up as much as you can while trying to do as much as you can at the same. You get a pretty good buzz out of it.”
Clarke ended up fielding two balls in his over, one on the ropes, and one in the circle.
“I was pretty nervous. At the time I went out there... they changed the ball and I was stuck out on the boundary for about five minutes before a ball was bowled.
“People in the crowd were getting a bit stuck into me and asking me questions, while I waited.”
Clarke said he waited all day in the heat, albeit in a slightly shaded spot on the field, and was hopeful of getting a chance to go out in the middle.
Clarke said he had been picked to be a sub-fielder and run the drinks a few times before, but never actually been out to field a ball.
“As much as you are pretty nervous, you do want to get out there and have a bit of a run around,” he said.
Clarke was very much a part of the team during the test.
Clarke is in the Sydney Thunder academy and also plays in the NSW second XI, and so knows quite a number of the Australian team, who he said welcomed him into the fold during the test.
“You're pretty welcome amongst the squad. Everyone has a chat to you. You're a part of the team,” he said.
“I think it helps being that there are six or seven NSW blokes in there, and I know those guys well enough to have a conversation with them and they know who you are.”
Clarke said as for his own representative cricket, he was hopeful that in the next year or two, he could find a way into the Sydney Thunder team, and potentially even the NSW team.
He said he felt he had been playing well in the reserves and was always working to improve his game.