In a historic decision, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a “pay equity policy”, saying that its centrally-contracted men and women players would get the same match fees. BCCI secretary Jay Shah took to Twitter to announce the significant development.
What It Implies:
This means the women players will now get Rs 15 lakh per Test match, Rs 6 lakh for a One-Day International (ODI), and Rs 3 lakh for a T20 International. Till now, they were paid Rs 1 lakh for a white-ball match, and Rs 4 lakh for a Test.
The annual retainership for women cricketers remains the same — Rs 50 lakh for Grade A, Rs 30 lakh for Grade B and Rs 10 lakh for Grade C. The men, who play more games, are paid Rs 1-7 crore, depending on their grade.
What Has Been Said:
The decision was taken at the BCCI Apex Council emergent meeting. “I am pleased to announce @ BCCI’s first step towards tackling discrimination. We are implementing a pay equity policy for our contracted @BCCIWomen cricketers. The match fees for both men and women cricketers will be the same as we move into a new era of gender equality in cricket,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah tweeted.
“In our Apex Council meeting today, we have made a marquee decision on pay equity for our women cricketers. Our women players will be paid the same match fees as men in international cricket. This decision sets the platform to grow and develop cricket. I believe this is a significant step forward for women’s cricket and the game overall,” BCCI president Roger Binny said in a statement.
Its Significance & Future Prospects:
With this, India has become the second country in international cricket to implement equal pay. Earlier this year, New Zealand Cricket had announced equal match fees for its women players.
Former India captain Diana Edulji, who played in an era when the game was run by the Women’s Cricket Association of India, said she and her teammates had to pay from their pockets to play for the country, even at a World Cup, and match fees were unheard of.
Edulji, now 66, a former member of the Committee of Administrators, said the pay parity announced by the BCCI was a “Diwali gift” for women cricketers and the reward for their progress on the field. With the first women’s IPL set to be played in March next year, Edulji said it would encourage more girls to take up the game. “It is a boost, and more girls will come and play domestic cricket, and make a name for themselves. IPL (women’s) is around the corner and everything is readymade for women’s cricket to be a great career in India,” she told.
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