To the people in India, cricket is more than just a sport. It’s practically a religion. But it’s only the men’s cricket that ignites such frenzy. Until a few years ago, barely anyone knew who was a part of the Indian cricket team. As unfortunate as this is, it sheds light on a critical point. Women cricketers, not just in India, face a disadvantage. And it affects a lot of aspects of their professional lives, especially when it comes to remuneration. The wage gap between the male cricket team and the women’s cricket team will leave you astonished. However, this isn’t an issue the New Zealand women’s cricket team have to battle anymore.
On Tuesday, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) made a groundbreaking announcement. They said the NZC and the players association have signed a five-year deal according to which women cricketers, at the domestic and international levels, receive the same match fees as their male counterparts across all formats and competitions. This sets a brilliant precedent!
This agreement will come into effect from 1st August and will also provide equality to the women’s team in other aspects such as travel, accommodation, and training environment. NZC Chief Executive David White said, “This is the most important agreement in our sport, as it binds NZC, the major associations, and our players at the hip, and sets the foundation to fund, grow, and develop cricket. “It’s been a collaborative yet very robust negotiation. Importantly, it represents a significant step forward as we continue to grow our investment in women’s cricket.”
Under this new agreement, the number of women’s contracts will increase from 54 to 72. However, the male cricketers will earn higher retainers because of a higher number of matches played and time spent training. However, a small step in the right direction is better than no step at all, isn’t it? Talking about this revolutionary move, White Ferns captain Sophie Devine said, “It’s great for the international and domestic women players to be recognised in the same agreement, alongside the men. It’s a massive step forward and will be a huge drawcard for young women and girls.”
Sportswomen have been at a loss for a long time. Hopefully, more countries will follow New Zealand’s lead!