Pondering upon cricket’s very first ODI double-centurion, the name that instantly comes to our minds is of Sachin Tendulkar, but little did you know that 13 years before Tendulkar reached the milestone, it was Belinda Clark who scored a smashing 229 off 155 balls in the Women’s World Cup, a female cricketer who is arguably one of the best Australia has ever produced.
Born on 10th September, 1970, Belinda spent her childhood amidst sporting equipment, as her mother was a tennis player and her father a cricketer. With a strong sports background, Belinda soon developed an unbreakable bond with cricket, which she consolidated upon in her teen years.
Making her international debut at 21, she was handed the captain’s duty only three years later, assisting her in breaking a host of records further in a career. From playing the most matches as captain in the CWC to scoring the highest number of runs in the tournament for Australia, Clark led her side to two world Cup wins in 1997 and 2005 too.
She was the first Australian women cricketer inducted into the ICC Hall Of Fame and also the first to be included in the Australian Hall of Fame. The Wisden Cricketer of the year 1998, Belinda has kept her self busy even after her retirement in 2005, and as of 2018, Clark is now the Executive General Manager of Game and Market Development at Cricket Australia.
Cricket’s Hall of Fame describes Clark as a “pioneer who dragged the women’s game into the mainstream”, and well, with her career of playing cricket for 14 years and now mentoring it, Clark is an inspiring woman who’s name shall forever be remembered as a gem in Australian cricket.