Clare Connor MBE (W. 1989-94)

Head of England Women's Cricket, Clare is a former England cricket captain. At the age of 30, she was awarded the OBE after leading England to their first Ashes win in 42 years. Clare retired from playing for England in 2006 with over 100 international caps and having led the side for 6 years.

  1. When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you 'grew-up'?
    A cricketer and a teacher.
  2. What are you now you've grown up?
    A former cricketer and a former teacher! I played for England for ten years, six of which as captain, and finished shortly after we regained the Ashes in 2005. I also taught English at Brighton College during much of this time and did some work in the media. I co-presented The Cricket Show on Channel 4, wrote a column in The Observer and worked on Test Match Special. I am now based at Lord's as Head of England Women's Cricket at The England & Wales Cricket Board.
  3. What is your best memory of school?
    There are too many to pick from. Having brilliant friends, inspirational teachers and every opportunity to reach my potential was the backdrop to my schooldays so I have a mass of wonderful memories. I would have to say that making my debut for Brighton College 1st XI cricket team on the Home Ground was very special. A powerful experience from my schooldays that had a huge influence on me was the opportunity to go to Romania to help in an orphanage for a couple of weeks for two consecutive summers. I learned a great deal about myself, others and about the world around me.
  4. What was the best piece of advice you were given?
    Something that has really stayed with me is not exactly a piece of advice but more of an attitude. When I was moving through the cricket teams at the College, John Spencer was often asked whether he would "risk" selecting me for the 1st XI. Would it be too dangerous? Too physical? Too demanding? His reply remained consistent - "If Clare's good enough to play 1st XI cricket, then I will pick her". Knowing that made me feel exactly the same as the boys and I knew I would be treated fairly and given the opportunity if I put the work in and could prove I was technically good enough.
  5. What does your job involve?
    My job essentially involves the strategic running of elite women's cricket - from County cricket up the stages of the pathway to the England team who are currently the 50 over World Champions. Areas of work include overseeing our body of selectors and scouts, our coaching staff, our support staff, international scheduling and sitting on various committees and Boards such as the ECB Leadership Team, and outside of cricket, the Sport England Board and the Commission on the Future of Women's Sport.
  6. What are the most challenging parts of your job?
    Some fairly antiquated attitudes towards women's sport still exist and can be barriers to progress at times. Finding the best methods of overcoming them and generally raising the profile of women's sport is something I am very passionate about.
  7. What have you done that you are most proud of?
    The memory of leading the England team out at Lord's in 2001 still sends a shiver down my spine as does the moment when we clawed the Ashes back from the Aussies in 2005. I'm hugely proud of having been awarded the OBE for services to sport in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2006.
  8. What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
    I feel very blessed to have a good quality of life with a wonderful family, group of friends and an amazing job. I would have to say that replacing the Southern Rail commute to London with a quick ride in a helicopter to Lord's would go down very well!!
  9. What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
    The Complete Works of Shakespeare, a solar-powered iPhone (they'll exist soon!) with all my music and photos on it, and a ball.
  10. How would you like to be remembered?
    As someone highly focused but also very caring. My favourite quote that I think sums this balance up is: "Be breathtaking in the performances you deliver; be breathgiving in the difference you make."

Clare leads England to Ashes victory! >>

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