Belinda Clark is in no mood to run for Cricket Australia top job

"Women’s cricket has found a new wind in the last five years": Belinda Clark

Belinda Clark. ©ICC

Former Australia great Belinda Clark is in no mood to become the first female CEO of Cricket Australia (CA) and has quashed rumours that she will run for the top job. Along with Christina Matthews, CEO at the WACA, the executive general manager of community cricket is one of the most experienced administrators in the game.

She stepped into the role of high-performance manager when Pat Howard left the organisation in 2018 and handled the complex job — now divided between two staff members — with aplomb, guiding the men’s team through a difficult period. Her first love, however, is the community role.

Kevin Roberts has resigned from his role as CA CEO last week and the position is temporarily managed by Nick Hockley. “I’m really in the right place at the moment to make a difference,” Clark told The Weekend Australian. “This is where my heart and passion is and I have got no intention of putting my hat in the ring for that.”

ALSO READ: Nick Hockley steps in as interim CEO of Cricket Australia

Clark appears to have defended her turf better than most during the recent cuts that saw 40 positions made redundant at the organisation. “The bottom line is we won’t lose anything,” she said. “There are four redundancies, but three new roles and one coming back into a club and association role, so the net effect is zero."

“I’m not saying people haven’t been impacted, there are four people that have had roles made redundant and three new positions. There has been an impact on people and I feel a duty to find those people new work, but as a department, we’ve been able to hold our ground. That tells us our commitment to the community, our commitment to our women’s teams is ridgy didge, we are not mucking around, we are serious about these areas,” Clark added.

ALSO READ: BCCI GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim’s position under scanner

The biggest growth area in CA has been community cricket in the past decade as it morphed from an administrative body for the men’s national team into one that tends the game from the grassroots up. Her department has also invested a great deal in building change-rooms for men and women’s teams to support the growing number of females playing the game. Ironically, she notes, community cricket clubs have been advised not to use change rooms during the pandemic.

One position made redundant in the 40 million dollar cuts at the organisation was the head of female engagement Sarah Styles, who has had that role since 2014 and would be replaced by a part-time coordinator. Matthews, the other most senior female administrator in the country, was rejected for the CEO’s role late in the process two years ago when CA opted for Roberts.