After almost 30 years of service to the game of cricket, especially the women’s game, Australian legend Belinda Clark will be stepping down from Cricket Australia (CA). She will end her career as an administrator of the game when her contract with CA ends in November of this year. However, she will continue as the Director for the ICC T20 World Cup Local Organising Committee.
The two-time World Cup-winning captain is currently in her position as CA’s Executive General Manager for Community Cricket. She started her career as an administrator all the way back in 1994 when she worked with Cricket New South Wales in the development department. She joined Women’s Cricket Australia as the Executive Officer and played a vital part in WCA’s integration with Cricket Australia.
Clark released an official statement, “I have loved my time working for the sport and while this chapter is coming to a close after 20 years with CA, a further 6 years with CNSW and a long-standing member of ICC Women’s Committee, I am committed to finding new ways to give back to the game that has given me so much.”
In her playing career, she has the unique distinction of being the first cricketer to score a double hundred in the limited-overs format. She scored 229* against Denmark at a World Cup encounter in 1997, 13 years before Sachin Tendulkar’s 200* against South Africa. Clark was only the second female cricketer to be inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame and the first female cricketer in Australia Cricket’s Hall of Fame.
Along with this, she was honored by being made a Member of the Order of Australia and later, an Officer of the Order of Australia. Both these honors are awarded for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a specific group. Clark was given this honor for her contribution to Australian cricket on the field, and for inspiring generations of upcoming female cricketers in Australia to take up the sport.
Clark went on to say in her statement, “The journey has been exciting and rewarding because of the many amazing people I have worked with across the community, State/Territory Associations, and CA. I am grateful for their support and am so proud of what we have achieved together. My dream is to help young girls develop the confidence, skills, and courage to step forward when leadership opportunities arise. This shift in my focus is timely as we navigate through significant global challenges – many of which need strong local and diverse voices to overcome.”
In Clark’s career spanning 14 years from 1991 to 2005, the former Australian captain scored 5,767 runs, at an average of 45.95 in ODI’s and 47.49 in Tests. She celebrated her 50th birthday this month.
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