Clark to step down from Cricket Australia role
Former Test captain will continue involvement with 2022 World Cup organising committee but will finish up at CA on November 30
29 September 2020, 11:04 AM AEST
Belinda Clark, the former Australia Test captain whose name adorns the pre-eminent individual women's cricket award in this country, announced today she is stepping down from her executive role within the game.
Clark, who led her team to two World Cup titles and played 15 Tests and 118 ODIs from 1991-2005, has worked in cricket administration for more than 25 years and will finish as Cricket Australia's Executive General Manager of Community Cricket on November 30.
However, the 50-year-old – who has also been a member of the International Cricket Council's influential cricket committee since 2018 – will continue to serve as a director on the Local Organising Committee for the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in 2022.
Clark said today she felt it was the right time to step back from her administrative role to focus on her work helping girls to identify and develop their leadership ambitions and qualities.
"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 six years with Cricket New South Wales 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," she said.
"The journey has been exciting and rewarding because of the many amazing people I have worked with across the community, State and 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.
"Cricket has been a major part of my life since I was a little girl growing up in Newcastle and it will continue to be for many years to come."
Clark began working in a development role with Cricket NSW in 1994, having foregone a career as a physiotherapist to find employment that enabled her to pursue her passion for cricket at a time when women received scant remuneration for playing at the highest level.
It was during her time with CNSW she began developing and implementing programs for girls and boys to discover and explore their love for cricket.
As a player, she built a formidable record during a period that Australia dominated the women's game.
Her crowning individual on-field achievement was becoming the first cricketer, male or female, to plunder a double-century in a one-day international (229no from 155 balls), the feat coming against Denmark at Mumbai during Australia's successful 1997 World Cup campaign.
She remains Australia’s all-time leading ODI run scorer with 4,844 runs at 47.49, ahead of Karen Rolton (4814 at 48.14) and current skipper Meg Lanning (3693 at 52.75).
While still captaining Australia in 2000, Clark was appointed Executive Officer of Women's Cricket Australia which then integrated with CA under her leadership.
Before taking up the position as head of CA's community cricket and grassroots programs, Clark was based at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane where she was helped develop the facility and its oversight for elite-level coaching and athlete management.
She has served as CA's EGM Community Cricket since 2017 and also took on the role of Interim Executive General Manager Team Performance in 2018.
The Belinda Clark Award for Australia's outstanding international women's cricketer was first presented in 2002, and Clark became the first female player inducted was inducted into the Australia Cricket Hall of Fame in 2014.
She had already been inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame three years earlier and has been installed as a Member of the Order of Australia (in 2000) and Officer of the Order of Australia (2018).
"Belinda’s impact across Australian Cricket has positioned her as one of Australia’s most influential leaders of our time," CA's Interim Chief Executive Officer Nick Hockley said today.
"Belinda has forged a path for women in cricket long before the days of the Australian Women’s Team and WBBL players became household names, and we are indebted to her for playing a huge role in shaping that journey.
"The benefits female cricketers enjoy today – professional support teams, an international schedule of matches, significant salary increases – are all changes advocated and shaped by Belinda.
"Everyone across Australian Cricket will miss working with Belinda, but we wish her all the best and know that she will continue to inspire young cricketers around the world, just as we shall continue to celebrate her immense contribution to the game.
"On a personal note, I would particularly like to thank Belinda for her leadership as a Director of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Local Organising Committee (LOC) and am thrilled that we shall continue to work together in the build up to the men’s T20 World Cup which has now been postponed until 2022."