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Belinda Clark

Hall of Fame: Belinda Clark

Honour for pioneer who dragged women's game into mainstream

Nobody could possibly have foreseen the monumental impact a 21-year-old woman from Newcastle would have on Australian cricket.

Belinda Clark made her Test debut 1991, notching up an assured century in the process.

By the end of that series against India, Clark had earned the player-of-the-series award, emphatically announcing her arrival on the international stage in the process.

As a player, a captain, a coach and an administrator, Belinda Clark has been a pillar of Australian cricket for 23 years. Now she oversees the next generation of male and female talent as the manager of the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.

A right-handed opener with the uncanny knack of accumulating runs, Clark was named captain of the Australian Women’s team at the age of 23 and led her country through a golden period until her retirement in 2005.

Her success rate as a captain was simply extraordinary – Australia won a total of 84 matches from the 101 games under Clark’s stewardship, as well as two World Cup titles – and she led from the front with the bat.

Clark holds the record for the most Test runs scored by an Australian woman – 919 runs in 15 Test matches at an average of 45.95.

In the more common format of one-day internationals the former opener has an even more impressive batting record, 4,844 runs scored in 118 ODIs at an average of 47.49 also a record for an Australian woman.

It was in 50-over format that Clark performed her most significant innings, when she led the Australian team in its victorious 1997 World Cup campaign in India.

Playing against Denmark in the group stages, Clark strode to the crease and blasted 229 runs off 155 balls to become the first cricketer, man or woman, to score a double century in an ODI.

That innings alone forced the cricket world to take serious notice of the women’s game and Clark was subsequently named Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year.

At the end of 2005, after leading an undefeated Australia to another World Cup title in South Africa, and with the Women’s Ashes back in Australian hands, Clark pulled up stumps on her 14-year playing career.

The accolades, however, continued.

Clark became just the second woman to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2011, adding to her Sport Australia Hall of Fame and New South Wales Hall of Champions inductions.

But for someone with a sharp cricketing mind who had simultaneously filled the roles of player, captain, and chief executive of Women’s Cricket Australia, there was still work to be done.

Clark has tirelessly mentored young Australian cricketers since her retirement and has overseen the growth of the Australian Cricket Academy through its various incarnations to its recent launch as the National Cricket Centre.

Along with her English counterpart, Clare Connor, Clark was instrumental in developing the concept of a multi-format Women’s Ashes Series, which was successfully introduced last year.

But beyond from the trophies, the awards, and the administrative achievements, perhaps Clark’s greatest legacy is that her prowess with the willow made her the first female player to be a household name among cricket fans, and Australian sports fans in general.

And in a sport where women had, throughout its history, struggled to be heard by the traditional establishment, the sound of Clark’s bat smashing another century was impossible to ignore.

Belinda Clark Career Summary

Tests: 15. Test Debut: 26 January 1991

ODIs: 118. ODI Debut: 17 January 1991

T20I: 1. T20I Debut: 2 September 2005

 

Batting and Fielding Statistics

Mat

Inns

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

100

50

Ct

Tests

15

25

5

919

136

45.95

2

6

4

ODIs

118

114

12

4844

229*

47.49

5

30

45

T20Is

1

1

0

4

4

4.00

0

0

1

 

Bowling Statistics

Mat

Inns

Runs

Wkts

BBI

BBM

Ave

SR

5w

10

Tests

15

6

28

1

1/10

1/10

28.00

78.0

0

0

ODIs

118

6

51

3

1/7

1/7

17.00

30.0

0

0

T20Is

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-