Cricket Australia will top up the prize money its women’s team wins at the 2020 T20 Women’s World Cup to ensure parity with the men’s competition.
After the conclusion of International Cricket Council board meetings in Dubai this week, the governing body has increased the prize money pool for the 2020 Women’s World Cup by 320 per cent compared to the 2018 tournament, with the winners netting $1m (€910,000) and the runners-up $500,000. The numbers are still well below what the men receive.
CA has committed to make up the shortfall for the women’s team. This would mean if Australia wins the tournament, CA would top up the $1m winner’s prize money with a further $600,000, to reflect the $1.6m on offer for winning the men’s World Cup.
The governing body’s chief executive Kevin Roberts said in a statement: “We want to continue our commitment to equality by ensuring that any prize money earned by the Australian women’s team in the T20 World Cup is the same as what is on offer in the men’s side of the tournament. This will include matching the prize money for the final, semi-finals, or group stage.”
Roberts added: “I am proud to say that cricket is the most lucrative team sport for women in Australia, with nationally contracted players receiving an average wage of more than AUD$180,000 (€110,565) a year including domestic duties, while WBBL and state only contracted players earn an average of more than AUD$55,000.”
“CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) worked together to achieve significant growth in women’s payments in the current Memorandum of Understanding and cricket is now the first fully professional women’s team sport in Australia.”
In 2017, CA and the ACA negotiated an agreement for the same base rate of pay regardless of gender, which saw a 700-per-cent increase in payments for female cricket athletes, from AUD$7.5m from the previous five-year-period to AUD$55m during the term of the current agreement, which runs till 2023.
Other decisions taken during the four-day ICC board meetings include readmitting Zimbabwe and Nepal as ICC Members. Zimbabwe had been suspended in July 2019 following government interference in the running of the Board, while Nepal was suspended in 2016 for breach of the ICC regulations which prohibit government interference and require free and fair elections.
ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: “I would like to thank the Zimbabwe Sports Minister for her commitment to the reinstatement of Zimbabwe Cricket. Her desire to work in support of Zimbabwe Cricket was clear and she has unconditionally complied with the conditions set down by the ICC Board. Funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will continue to be on a controlled basis as part of a collective effort behind getting the game in Zimbabwe back on an even keel.”
Zimbabwe will now be able to take up their place in the ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup in January and the ICC Super League later in 2020.
Nepal has also been reinstated on a conditional basis, after elections of a 17-member Central Working Committee for the Cricket Association of Nepal were completed earlier this month.
Mr Manohar added: “Given the progress made in Nepal, a transition plan will now be developed for the Cricket Association of Nepal to support full compliance with Associate Membership criteria, which will also involve controlled funding.”