Stuart Clark is a tall and lanky opening bowler who has been bracketed by the national selectors as "in the Glenn McGrath mould".Updated: Oct 23, 2006 16:31 IST
Stuart Clark is a tall and lanky opening bowler who has been bracketed by the national selectors as "in the Glenn McGrath mould".
It was a description he fitted perfectly in his opening Test series against South Africa - he replaced McGrath, who was caring for his sick wife - and at the age of 30 experienced a dream entry as the Player of the Series with 20 wickets at 15.75.
A gamble for the first game at Cape Town, he collected his baggy green and earned his side a victory with 5 for 55 and 4 for 34, the third-best match figures by an Australian debutant behind Bob Massie and Clarrie Grimmett.
A former real-estate agent in Sydney who crams in study for a masters degree in commerce, Clark had to wait until the last three years to strike the right market after a battle with his body as much as his talent.
Not to be confused with Michael Clarke, his NSW team-mate, or Michael Clark, the Western Australian left-armer, Clark held a Cricket Australia contract after a 45-wicket season in 2001-02 before losing it a summer later when struck by ankle and rib injuries.
Hernia surgery was next on the list quickly followed by a leg problem, but he collected 40 wickets in 2004-05 as NSW won the Pura Cup to re-impress Trevor Hohns and his gang. While enjoying a guest stint at Middlesex, Clark, who troubles batsmen with his 197cm height and seam movement, was called up as a squad replacement for the Ashes tour but did not get a playing opportunity.
He made his ODI debut during the 2005 Super Series and was a sound limited-overs performer in his first summer. A child of English-born parents who met in India, he recently became a father with the birth of a son, and his life after cricket is already mapped out. Once he finishes his current degree Clark wants to study law and plans to work in finance.
First Published: Sep 07, 2006 12:06 IST