County news February 4, 2014

Clarke throws hat into IPL ring

Rikki Clarke, the 32-year-old Warwickshire allrounder, has added himself to the IPL auction list after receiving encouragement from one of the franchises.

Clarke, who played the last of his 22 games for England in 2006, recently underwent an operation on his Achilles but is confident of being fit for the IPL season.

His release from county cricket would mirror that of the England players and means he would not be available for the entire tournament.

Although Clarke, who took a wicket with his first ball in international cricket as a 21-year-old, developed a reputation as something of a wasted talent for a while in his mid-20s, he has played the best cricket of his career over recent seasons.

His development into the allrounder his talent long promised was confirmed when he was included in England's 30-man preliminary squad for last year's Champions Trophy.

He has been the subject of interest from IPL franchises before, but has never previously been released by Warwickshire. He has taken 49 wickets at 26.55 in T20 cricket and scored 1385 runs at 21.30.

In last year's Friends Life t20 he scored 216 runs at 30.85 at a strike rate of 118 and also claimed seven wickets at 24.85 with an impressive economy rate of 6.96.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo