Australian legend Belinda Clarke has been immortalized in bronze with the world’s first sculpture of a female cricketer unveiled at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Clarke’s portrait was installed at the entrance to the SCG’s Walk of Honor and was unveiled for the first time two days before Thursday’s third men’s test against South Africa.
News that the SCG will house the landmark statue was first announced in early 2021. It was a welcome step as there were 73 male cricketer statues in Australia at that time. .
A World Cup-winning captain, a prolific run-scorer and a key figure in Australia’s off-field development of cricket, Clarke has played alongside Australia’s first Test captain Margaret Peden and legendary all-rounder Betty Wilson. was selected from among strong candidates, including
She is the 15th member of the SCG Sculpture Project and the 3rd woman. She joins sprinters Betty Cuthbert and Marlene Matthews, whose portrait is placed in front of her Allianz stadium.
The sculpture was created by renowned NSW artist Cathy Weisman.
“I’m thrilled that the sculpture has been installed and people are looking at it and wondering what it is and who it is. And being able to tell a little story is really important.” said Clark.
“This sculpture encapsulates being able to dare to challenge and break convention.
“I want people to understand that if you put your mind to it and you have good people around you, you can do anything. I feel very lucky to have had great support and a bit of imagination. I will bring my game to 2020 and hope the sport is in a better place.”
Few have made a greater impact on cricket on and off the field than Clark.
A Newcastle-born right-handed opener with a prodigious ability to rack up runs, Clarke was named captain of the Australian women’s team at the age of 23 and spent a golden period of 12 years before retiring in 2005. led and won two world championships. cup of process.
Clarke holds the record for the most ODI runs scored by an Australian woman – 4,844 runs in 118 ODIs, averaging 47.49 – 919 runs in 15 Test matches, averaging 45.95, making her the most run by an Australian woman. It is the second most common among
In 1997 she became the first person to score an ODI Double Century with 229 runs off 155 balls against Denmark and was subsequently named Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year.
As CEO of Women’s Cricket Australia, Clark played a key role in the merger with the Australian Cricket Board, unifying the management of the men’s and women’s games.
After retiring from playing, Clark played a key role as administrator of Cricket Australia for the next 15 years, with a particular focus on grassroots cricket and the Australian national team, leaving the organization in late 2020.
SCG President Tony Shepherd said the location of the new sculpture at the main entrance to the members area was intentionally to put her next to two of the men’s game’s greatest captains, Richie Benaud and Steve Waugh. He said he was chosen.
The SCG Trust’s Sports Sculpture project began over ten years ago and Clark’s sculpture was created in consultation with the Women’s Recognition in Cricket Cricket Australia Working Group.
Formed in 2021, the working group has a major focus on addressing the imbalance in women’s social visibility in cricket, not just in statues, but in all areas of the sport.