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Shirin Sadikot in Johannesburg

Stuart Clark relishes second CLT20 triumph

Part of victorious NSW in 2009, Clark has won CLT20 2012 as Sixers’ general manager

Stuart Clark won the inaugural CLT20 in 2009 as part of the New South Wales Blues. In 2012 he has achieved the feat again, this time as the Sydney Sixers’ general manager. The two victories hold the same importance in Clark’s heart but sit differently in his mind.

After the 19-wicket win in the final, against Highveld Lions, Clark revealed to clt20.com the thought that went in putting together a winning team. The former Australian fast bowler also spoke about his experience of mentoring the young fast bowling battery of the Sixers.

Excerpts from his interview:

How’s it winning the CLT20 as a mentor?

It’s different. I played for New South Wales in 2009. It was interesting seeing things from the other side of the fence. It’s been a long year putting this team together, finding the right players and sorting everything that is required for organising a team for a big cricket tournament. The boys have done a wonderful job and it’s a magnificent win. For the players, I know they really love playing in this tournament.

How much did you bring into the Sixers’ camp from your experience of playing in 2009?

A lot of the guys in this team are New South Wales guys. That’s something we put an emphasis on. We didn’t want to break that core group.

What’s your philosophy as a mentor?

Cricket is all about having fun, enjoying and the being ready to play the game when the first ball is bowled. I think we waste too much time thinking about whether we have certain things or not, whether we’re fit or not, etc. If you’re ready to play when the first ball is bowled, that’s the most important thing. That’s my philosophy.

What do you have to say about the three fast bowlers in the team and how do you mentor them?

Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, all three of them are wonderful. They’re all magnificent cricketers and I’ve played with most of them when I was finishing as a fast bowler and they were good even then. Mentoring them, I only tell them that cricket is meant to be enjoyed. If you’re not enjoying it, it’s a hard way to go about things.

Did the pace bowling attack make the Sydney Sixers the most complete team in the tournament?

We had the fast bowling to dominate on these pitches. I think it’s hard for teams from India to play on these wickets because they’re not used to it. We were very deliberate in our plans when we wanted fast bowlers for this tournament. Having played Test and ODI cricket here, I knew what kind of bowlers we needed on these tracks and we chose them especially for that.

But in the biggest game, the final, the spinners did the job for you (Nathan McCullum 3-24, Steeve O’Keefe 1-11)

That was the funny part of today’s game. In the final the spinners did the job for us. We’ve got 15 great players with Shane Watson being at home. We’ve got a wonderful group of guys who are all committed to playing for the Sydney Sixers and I cannot ask for anything more. 

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