Belinda Clark. ©ICC

Belinda Clark, former Australia captain and Cricket Australia’s current Executive General Manager of Community Cricket, has been named the winner in the Arts, Culture and Sports category at the AFR’s Women of Influence Awards.

The 49-year-old has been associated with the game as a player, captain, coach, administrator, community advocate and role model for four decades, making her as one of Australia’s most influential female leaders.

“Belinda, or BC as she is affectionately known, continues to have a significant impact on Australian Cricket by pushing the boundaries, changing attitudes; ultimately creating a platform of change for women in the game,” Kevin Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Cricket Australia, said.

“All of us at Cricket Australia are incredibly proud of BC and aren’t surprised of the many accolades that come her way, including this one. BC has forged a path for women in cricket long before the days of the Australian Women’s Team and WBBL players being household names, and we are indebted to her for playing a huge role in shaping that journey.”

Clark was the second female to be inducted into the International Cricket Council (ICC) Hall of Fame and leads the ICC Women’s Committee which aims to grow cricket for girls across the world. Earlier last year, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to cricket as a player, captain and administrator, and as a role model for young sportswomen.

“The benefits female cricketers enjoy today – professional support teams, an international schedule of matches and significant salary increases – are all changes advocated and shaped by BC and have subsequently driven a growing fan base, larger crowds and impressive broadcast ratings for the women’s game. As captain of the Australian Women’s Team for more than a decade, her legacy will not only be seen through her incredible exploits on the field, but through her passion for community cricket.”

“BC is leading the charge in delivering innovative solutions to grow the game at the grassroots for all community cricketers, but in particular junior cricket and girl’s competitions. She was CEO of Women’s Cricket Australia during a time of integration between Cricket Australia in 2001, while still playing the game at the highest level. In the history of cricket in Australia, this will be seen as a significant moment of unity, driving equity for the women’s game and pursuit for the exposure it so richly deserves,” Roberts concluded.

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