New Zealander Tim Clarke joins Quick Haag
The Bay of Plenty connection with Dutch cricket will be further strengthened this summer with the recruitment by Topklasse club Quick Haag of 24-year-old left-handed batsman-wicketkeeper Tim Clarke.
It is anticipated that several Dutch sides will benefit from the presence in New Zealand over the winter of a group of young players at Ben Williams’ academy in Tauranga, where they have not only been honing their own skills but also acting as unofficial talent spotters for their clubs.
Clarke, who plays for Mount Maunganui in the same competitions in which Quick’s James Gruijters has been appearing for the Greerton club, hit an undefeated 113 in a 50-over match earlier this month, and has represented by Poverty Bay and Bay of Plenty in Northern Districts’ sub-provincial matches. He also made one appearance for Northern Districts under-19 side in 2008.
He will join returning player-coach Amol Muzumdar in the Quick side, and is likely to prove an extremely valuable replacement for Stijn Allema, who recently announced his retirement from competitive cricket. He will also support Muzumdar in the club’s youth coaching.
Having narrowly escaped relegation in 2010, Quick came back strongly last season, winning six matches and finishing sixth in the table. They will benefit this year from the return of international Tim Gruijters from England, and with Muzumdar and Clarke in the side as well as such seasoned Topklasse players as the Mol brothers, A-international left-arm spinner Thijs van Schelven, and a group of promising younger talents, they will have a realistic chance of grabbing a top-four spot in what promises to be an intensely competitive Topklasse.