Australia’s female domestic cricketers are getting a pay rise, with basic match payments to increase by as much as 22 per cent this season.
- The average retainer for Women’s National Cricket League players will rise to $40,829
- Cricket Australia says it still needs to “close the gap” between pay for male and female players
- Australia captain Meg Lanning says investment in female cricket is critical
Cricket Australia (CA) has announced it is increasing the average retainer for players in the Women’s National Cricket League by 22 per cent from $33,409 to $40,829.
Payments for players in the WBBL — which begins on Thursday — will have an average retainer increase of 14 per cent from $21,149 to $24,179.
The payments do not include match fees.
“The pipeline of talent coming through is fantastic 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,” CA chief executive Nick Hockley said.
“We pride ourselves over recent years to really lead the charge about driving equality in cricket and particularly investing in the growth as a sport for women and girls.”
But Hockley acknowledged there was some way to go to “close the gap” between the pay for Australia’s male and female cricketers.
“There’s still a gap, there’s still a really big gap as compared to their male counterparts,” he said.
The increase in match payments comes from unallocated amounts in CA’s total player pool, a figure which varies from year to year.
The male and female players jointly decided to award all the money this year to Australia’s women cricketers.
CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) have also agreed to allocate $320,000 for wellbeing support and $250,000 to allow players to bring their partners and dependents with them while they are away from home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant players have had to spend more time in bubbles, away from their partners.
That will be the case for the first tranche of WBBL matches, which will all be played in Tasmania.
Australia captain Meg Lanning said the success of women’s cricket had “not happened by accident”.
“Cricket has shown that when you properly invest in female sport, the results follow and everyone benefits — the game, the fans and the players,” she said.
ACA chief executive Todd Greenberg said investment in women’s cricket was “fundamental to the growth of the game overall”.
“We see this as part of an ongoing strategy of continuing to raise the bar for others to follow,” he said.
Cricket is not the only sport to increase pay for women in recent times.
Netball Australia (NA) announced a new pay deal last month that will see some players earn an extra 22 per cent from 2022.
NA said the minimum salary for all Super Netball players would increase by 17 per cent from $36,677 to $43,000.
The maximum salary will increase from $75,167 to $91,500.