Belinda Clark played 14 years of international cricket for the Australian women’s team.
Now, she has to step up again. In the men’s game no less.
And it will probably be her toughest innings yet.
Clark was this week named the interim head of high performance of the Australian team, replacing the sacked Pat Howard.
It will be a big challenge for Clark who is currently executive general manager of game and market development for Cricket Australia.
She is well credentialled and well meaning … but she’s stepping into a mess.
Think about it: since the ball tampering humiliation Australian cricket has lost Steve Smith (suspended), David Warner (suspended), Cameron Bancroft (suspended), chief executive James Sutherland (resigned), coach Darren Lehmann (resigned), chairman David Peever (resigned), director Mark Taylor (resigned), Pat Howard and head of commercial operations Ben Amarifo (both sacked). It’s blood letting never before seen in Australian cricket.
The good thing for Clark is that there will be all the goodwill in the world for her.
Howard didn’t come from a cricket background – he was a former Rugby Union international – and he polarised people.
The good thing for Clark is that there will be all the goodwill in the world for her
To some, he was the breath of fresh air needed. To others, the wrong man in the wrong job.
Shane Warne, for example referred to Howard’s lack of cricket knowledge and referred to him as “a muppet”.
Fellow Test leg spinner was even more brutal on television this week, accusing Howard of "stealing an income from Criket Australia for a long time".
Certainly some of Howard’s innovations weren’t well received.
He introduced the controversial 'rotation policy' for Australia’s fast bowlers for example, which saw them sit out matches as a supposed prevention against injury.
It went down like a lead balloon.
He was also in charge of performance at a time when Australia’s cricket’s "winning without counting the costs" culture was savaged by Dr Simon Longstaff in a hard-hitting review.
Howard also fell offside with many players during last year's pay dispute.
Belinda Clark has cricket knowledge and a cricket pedigree. But in Australian cricket these days, it’s not just he batsmen who need to wear helmets.