Joe Clarke becomes latest Nottinghamshire import for 2019

Joe Clarke drives Getty Images

Nottinghamshire have announced the signing of England Lions batsman Joe Clarke from Worcestershire on a four-year deal. Clarke, 22, had been widely tipped to leave Worcestershire, with Trent Bridge his likeliest destination.

Worcestershire's chief executive, Matt Rawnsley, said the club "did everything that we could" to hold on to the player, who broke into the first team in 2015. Clarke will be available for Worcestershire's final Championship game of season, at home to Yorkshire, starting on Monday.

"Obviously we're disappointed that Joe will be leaving us, but I'm very confident that we did everything that we could to retain him," Rawnsley said.

"Joe wondered if we wanted him to play this next game against Yorkshire. My view was that we would always pick our best eleven and want to win matches, and he should be part of that. It will give him a chance to sign off in the way he, and we want him to, with runs and a win.

"We wish Joe all the very best for the future. Our goal as a first class county is to produce England cricketers, and I sincerely hope that Joe goes on to play at the highest level."

Clarke is Worcestershire's leading run-scorer in the Championship this season, although their relegation from Division One was confirmed by defeat to Essex this week. He also played a key role in the club winning this year's Vitality Blast, their first T20 title.

In his first-class career, Clarke has scored 3812 runs at 40.12, in addition to 1390 in List A and 1020 in T20 cricket. He made his Lions debut against Pakistan in the UAE in 2015-16.

The signing is the fourth example of Notts bringing in talent from elsewhere ahead of the 2019 season: batsmen Ben Slater and Ben Duckett recently joined from Derbyshire and Northamptonshire respectively, while allrounder Zak Chappell signed from Leicestershire.

Notts director of cricket, Mick Newell, said: "We're very pleased that Joe has decided to join us. He's a very good young player with a great record already behind him. Hopefully we can make the most of his talent and help him become the best player he can be."