Before Sachin Tendulkar, there was Belinda!

Belinda Clark.

Sachin Tendulkar is the first man to crack 200 in one-days but he was not the first to reach the mark.

That honour, and the distinction of still being the highest individual run scorer in the format, belongs to Australian batswoman Belinda Clark.

Her feat dates back to December 16, 1997 when Clark, now 39, broke past the barrier to register 229 not out off 155 balls against a depleted Denmark side.

As fate and its quirks would have it, she played this innings in Tendulkar’s backyard — MIG Cricket Club — during a Women’s World Cup match.

While Tendulkar’s achievement was witnessed and applauded by millions around the world, Clark’s magic knock was not even telecast.

“Apart from some members who were sitting in the club house, hardly anyone watched that great innings,” umpire M.R. Singh, who officiated the Australia-Denmark affair 13 years ago, told Hindustan Times. “I cannot forget that knock. What impressed me the most was her fitness.

She ran so many singles and yet stayed fresh till the last over.”

In sport, it’s usually a man’s world. Men are quicker, higher and faster. But not always, it seems.

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