Australian cricket July 6, 2005

Belinda Clark to head Centre of Excellence

Cricinfo staff

Belinda Clark, the Australian women's captain, will become the first woman to head-up cricket's Commonwealth Bank Centre of Excellence when she takes over as the manager of the Brisbane facility in September.

Clark, 34, will take up the role of CBCE Manager on her return from the Ashes Series in 2005 in England, when she will relocate to Brisbane and make a decision on her playing future. Clark will replace Trevor Robertson who has served in the role since the launch of the new centre in 2003.

James Sutherland, the chief executive of the Australian board, said the appointment of Clark was another step forward for cricket's development system. "We are delighted that Belinda has agreed to take on this challenge and congratulate her on this appointment," said Sutherland. "Clark has been successful in cricket both on and off the field. She is a natural leader, an extremely competent cricket administrator and we are very fortunate to be able to appoint someone of her calibre to this important role."

Clark welcomed the challenge to lead the Commonwealth Bank Centre of Excellence and its team of nine staff in Brisbane. "This is a big career step for me but one that presents a number of exciting challenges," she said. "Australian cricket has had a sound development system in place for some time, but Cricket Australia is always striving to improve and to make sure there is a continual regeneration and development in the game."

Clark will captain the Australian team on its tour of Ireland and England beginning later this month, before returning in September to make a decision on her playing future. "I'm under no illusions about the scope of the role,"she said, "and I intend to weigh up my playing options when I return in September. Taking this role was too good an opportunity to overlook."