Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) have announced a AUS$1.2 million (US$881,000) cash injection that will increase salaries for female players.
The new investment means the average base salary for a woman who holds a contract in both the domestic Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) Twenty20 tournament and 50-over Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) will rise to more than AUS$65,000 (US$47,700) this season. It represents an increase of more than AUS$10,000 (US$7,300) on last summer.
The average retainer for a state-contracted women’s player has also increased by more than 22 per cent to AUS$40,829 (US$30,006), while the average for a WBBL player is now $24,179 (US$17,769), up more than 14 per cent.
In comparison, a male cricketer who plays all formats at domestic level has a retainer of AUS$198,000 (US$145,500) a year.
The domestic contracts are in addition to the select group who are centrally contracted by CA each season. Currently, these women’s players earn an average of AUS$180,000 (US$132,200) a year, making them the best-paid national women’s team in the country.
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CA also confirmed that players of both genders will receive match payments throughout the season on top of their base wage.
While the national governing body stated that Australia’s women’s cricketers are amongst the best paid female athletes in the country, CA chief executive Nick Hockley acknowledged there was still a sizeable gap in the salaries of male and female players.
Hockley added that the sport “won’t rest until there is genuine parity across all elements of the game”.
“We pride ourselves over recent years on really leading the charge about driving equality in cricket and particularly investing in the growth of cricket as a sport for women and girls,” Hockley said.
“But there’s still a gap, there’s still a really big gap, as compared to their male counterparts.
“And we want to keep striving to make it a really attractive and credible full-time professional career for our up-and-coming female cricketers.”
It is the latest step from CA towards pay parity after the organisation revealed in 2019 it would top up any prize money won by the Australian women’s team at the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, in order to match the men’s equivalent winnings. The team would go on to win the tournament.
In sponsorship news, CA has extended its partnership with sports drink giant Gatorade for a further three years.
The deal will cover both the men’s and women’s international cricket teams, and also includes the launch of a new digital content series, ‘Fuelling Greatness’.
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