Former India cricketer and captain Anjum Chopra believes that it is nothing but “unfair” to ask for equal pay for men and women cricketers.
The reason being that the women’s team has still not won a World Cup. Undoubtedly, there is stark disparity between the salaries of India’s male and female cricketers but the former India skipper believes that it is to continue till the women’s team gets their hands on a World Cup trophy.
Speaking to Indiatoday.in, she said, “I do not know why this has become a discussion point in such a big manner because we must remember that Indian women’s team has never won a World Cup. Men’s team has.”
The Indian women’s cricket team has been excruciatingly short of a World Cup trophy on many occasions. This year the women’s team reached the T20 Word Cup final for the first time. On March 8, they lost to a clinical Australia in front of a record crowd at the MCG. They were ousted out of the 2018 T20 World Cup semi-finals as well. In the 50-over format, they ended as runners up after a 9 run loss to England in 2017. The problem has been rampant through all India women campaigns – playing well in the league stages but failing to hold their nerves in the Finals.
As per BCCI’s recent central contracts, Grade A women players receive Rs 50 lakhs while their male counterparts draw Rs. 7 crore. This implies Virat Kohli takes in Rs. 7 crore remuneration for a year while Harmanpreet Kaur has to settle at 50 lakhs, which is nothing but peanuts. However, Anjum ridiculed any such comparison and said that women’s cricketers should not compare themselves to the men’s team. Rather, they should compare to the best in the women’s world, that is, the Australian team.
“First and foremost they should compare themselves to what the best women’s team in the world is getting-that is the Australian team. I think that will be a more fair assessment of comparison rather than being compared to men’s counterparts. Men’s cricket is the pinnacle because what Indian men’s team draws, I do not think any team in the world draws that, even men,” said Anjum, who has represented India in six World Cups.
“In our case, the Australian women’s cricket draws the maximum salary. And mind you the women’s Australian team gets as equal pay as their men’s team. But their women’s team has won the T20 World Cup and the 50-over format World Cup. So let’s compete with our own gender first.”
Cricket Australia has been very proactive in gender parity in cricket. It has bridged the pay gap between their women and men’s cricketers. They get paid equal remuneration every year. Also, in the recently concluded 2020 T20 World Cup, champions Australia earned the same prize money as their male counterparts. Cricket Australia made a brilliant gesture and ensured that they top up the prize money won by the women’s cricket team at the T20 World Cup to ensure parity with the men’s equivalent winnings.
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