Amidst flash bulbs and journalists snooping for answers, there is something that lights up Stuart Clark’s eyes.
Ask him about his India connection and the not-so-little Stuart, normally reserved, is suddenly eager to chat. For the Australian pacer, in town with New South Wales for the upcoming Champions League, coming to India is almost like a homecoming.
After all, this is where his parents — Mary Boosey and Bruce Clark — met, fell in love and married. His father grew up in Madras (now Chennai), while his “mum” wafted through adolescence in the sleepy backwaters of Cochin.
Both Mary and Bruce’s fathers served in the British Army in India prior to Independence, and that was how they met and connected.
“My grandfather Rupert Clark was serving during the raj. He left India because it was too cold for him.”
“I simply love this country,” the 34-year-old Clark told HT. “Fortunately, I have seen most of Cochin but I still haven’t got a chance to see Chennai.”
Clark said he never missed an opportunity to travel to India. “Cricket brings me here most of the time, but my bond with India is deeper because of my parents,” he said with a grin.
Though Clark has impressed in the game’s longest format - he has picked up 94 wickets in 24 Tests — he is still finding his feet in T20s. But he isn’t worried.
“This is a very exciting format. I am going to give it all I have and try and help my team win the Champions League.”
The Sydneysider agreed that the tournament would be a great platform for domestic players. “I can assure you there are many boys hungry to perform here and create a niche for themselves in the national side.”
So, when is he finally making that much-awaited trip to Chennai? “Very soon mate,” said Clark.