The game of cricket is going through rapid transformation in the past few years. The sport has seen several changes. One of them being the fact that cricket has become inclusive as both men’s and women’s tournaments are given equal importance. Keeping in line with this New Zealand cricket in an unprecedented move has announced equal pay for both men and women cricketers. The same rule will be applied in the top-tier domestic matches in a new deal finalized on July 5 (Tuesday).
In a path-breaking move, the number of contracts given to women cricketers in the country will see an increase along with the number of competitive matches available to emerging players. New Zealand women skipper Sophie Devine believes that the agreement was a game-changer for women’s cricket.
“It’s great for the international and domestic women players to be recognized in the same agreement, alongside the men. It’s a massive step forward and will be a huge drawcard for young women and girls,” she said according to the news.co.nz. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was also happy with the news and added that it is an exciting time for the sport.
“It’s really important for the current players to build on the legacy of those who have gone before us, and to support tomorrow’s players, both men, and women, at all levels. This agreement goes a long way towards achieving that,” said Williamson.
The improved pay and conditions are part of an agreement that has been calculated on New Zealand’s men’s and women’s professional players getting 29.75% of all NZC forecast revenue over five years ($349m), which is expected to amount to $104m. As a result, the highest-ranked blackcaps player can get a maximum of $163,246 a year (up from $83,432), the ninth-ranked $148,946 (up from $66,266), and the 17th-ranked $142,346 (up from $62,833).
As per the new agreement, the total number of women’s domestic contracts will increase from 54 to 72. The domestic women’s annual contracts will also see an increase from nine to 12 per team.
However, as per the cricket’s governing body, the men’s team can still earn more than their female counterparts, due to the “increased number of matches played, formats contested, and time spent training and playing”.
“The total remuneration for men’s and women’s professional players includes retainers, match fees, Trust IP payments, retirement fund contributions and insurance,” the cricket’s governing body further explained.