Belinda Clark immortalised with first ever women’s statue at the SCG

After being immortalised in bronze at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australian cricket legend Belinda Clark said the first-ever statue of a female cricketer represented the “bold and attacking” way life should be lived.

Former players, politicians, fans and the next generation of Aussie stars were at the SCG on Thursday morning for an historic celebration of Clark who became the first female cricketer to be immortalised in bronze.

The statue of Clark playing an iconic pull shot through the on side will greet fans every time they walk through the legendary gates.

Clark is the third female and 15th member of the SCG sculpture project, joining legendary figures live Steve Waugh, Sir Donald Bradman and Betty Cuthbert.

She captained Australia for 12 years and still holds the record for most ODI runs for her country, helped in large by a record-breaking 229 against Denmark in 1997 that saw her become the first player to score an ODI double-century.

It’s why the World Cup winning captain was the obvious choice to be honoured in her home state.

“I‘m excited to have the sculpture in place and for people to now look at it and perhaps wonder what that is, who that is and to be able to tell a bit of a story is really important,” Clark said.

Clark is the third female and 15th member of the SCG sculpture project, joining legendary figures live Steve Waugh, Sir Donald Bradman and Betty Cuthbert.

She captained Australia for 12 years and still holds the record for most ODI runs for her country, helped in large by a record-breaking 229 against Denmark in 1997 that saw her become the first player to score an ODI double-century.

It’s why the World Cup winning captain was the obvious choice to be honoured in her home state.

“I‘m excited to have the sculpture in place and for people to now look at it and perhaps wonder what that is, who that is and to be able to tell a bit of a story is really important,” Clark said.

“The sculpture encapsulates being able to have a go – to be courageous, to take on those challenges and break convention.

“I want people to take away that you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it and you have good people around you, and I think I‘ve been very fortunate to have had great support and have a bit of an imagination to take my game where I wanted to take it, and hopefully the sport is in a better place for it.

“It’s fulfilling to be able to do something reasonable to help other people. Hopefully, young girls and young boys will enjoy their sport and this will be a way for them to see that sport is forever.”

Clark’s success helped pave the way for the current crop of stars to emerge as one of the country’s leading teams, and it won’t be long until the likes of Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry have their own statues.

But Clark thinks the game should honour the past before that happens with women’s cricket coming a long way from the truly amateur days.

“You could make a case for a number of people, but I think it’d be great for something to be in Melbourne,” she said.

“I know there’s talk about statues in Perth of Zoe Goss, who I think would be a very worthy recipient.

“Betty Wilson was a pioneer of the game back in 1934/35, and she was the first female to score 100 and take 10 wickets in a match. She would have some good credentials at the MCG and hopefully they can honour her in some way.”

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