ICC ramps up backing of women’s cricket for World Cup

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has today (Thursday) announced a tenfold increase in prize money for the 2017 Women’s World Cup, along with unprecedented broadcast plans for the national team tournament, as part of efforts to bring gender parity to the sport.

The 2017 World Cup is being hosted by England and Wales from June 24 to July 23. Prize money will rise from $200,000 (€183,318) for the 2013 event in India to $2m. The ICC said it is seeking to move towards equality across the game within 15 years, adding that a blueprint for growth and sustainability will be launched later this year.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “The ICC Women’s World Cup is the pinnacle of the women’s game and as such the players should be rewarded appropriately. Two million dollars is the first step towards greater parity and recognition. The prize fund for the 2013 edition was just $200,000, and this announcement shows a greater level of commitment than ever before.

“The change will not happen overnight but the women’s game is crucial to the global growth of cricket. There is undoubtedly an audience for it – there were almost 18 million views of highlights of the Women’s World Cup Qualifier earlier this year – and we need to grow that further. There is greater depth in the women’s game and that is leading to increased competitiveness which is what fans want to see.

“We think the Women’s World Cup this summer will be a turning point in the history of the game. There is growing interest globally in women’s sports and we want cricket to be front and centre of this and lead by example.”

The ICC has also confirmed that for the first time in the history of the Women’s World Cup, this year’s tournament in England and Wales will see every ball of every game being covered live.

As part of the coverage plan for the eight-team tournament, 10 matches will be broadcast live on television with the Decision Review System (DRS) being introduced into the women’s game for the first time and the remaining 21 matches live-streamed.

The television broadcasts, which will include the two semifinals and the final, will be covered with the help of 30 cameras. The ICC said the final at Lord’s on July 23 will provide a different level of experience with a drone camera and a Spidercam being deployed to capture different angles, something never seen before in women’s cricket or at the ‘Home of Cricket’ in London.