The pandemic has brought multiple aftermaths on the lives of people throughout the globe. Sporting events have been hard hit. Cricket is no different. There are numerous updates on resumption. With ICC releasing SOP and guidelines, there seems to be an attempt for getting the game back on track. The trends in women’s cricket have been varying.
There have been stories from Pakistan where the pay grade has been increased whereas Aussies have used harsh measures to curtail the financial stiffness. A similar update comes from Ireland. Ireland has extended the part-time professional contracts of five players.
Moreover, 11 female cricketers have also been awarded 11 non-retainer contracts. As per a media release from ICC, the contracts will have benefits like annual medical and healthcare insurance; strength and conditioning support; psychology, nutrition, performance analysis, lifestyle management and specialist coaching support; match fees for all international matches, and take into account loss of earnings for all competition periods.
Another great step by @Irelandcricket 👏
These contracts were offered to following players:
Eimear Richardson, Lara Maritz, Louise Little, Rebecca Stokell, Una Raymond-Hoey, Hannah Little, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray and Louise McCarthy. pic.twitter.com/nIgzdX2uPk
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) July 2, 2020
The contracts are offered to Eimear Richardson, Lara Maritz, Louise Little, Rebecca Stokell, Una Raymond-Hoey, Hannah Little, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray, and Louise McCarthy.
The part-time professional contracts of Laura Delany and others were first introduced in 2019 and were extended for the year 2020. Kim Garth, as reported by us, was offered the contract but declined this year to be associated with Cricket Victoria.
A statement from Cricket Ireland said, “The newly introduced non-retainer contracts are a further step on the road to a professionalized women’s game”.
Richard Holdsworth who is the high-performance director for the board said that “We are pleased that we can further invest in the senior women’s squad through these new benefits contracts. Given the nature and profile of our players, we needed to provide a greater level of support and service to the fitness, health, conditioning, and, most importantly, access to services that they need year-round. The medical and healthcare coverage alone will provide some peace-of-mind to the squad, and we hope to continue to build on these in subsequent years.”
There were comments from the head coach of the Irish side as well. Ed Joyce said that “For me, it has been an unusual first year in women’s cricket”. He is looking at times ahead to see the side train again. He further said that “We have a great young crop of players ambitious to make their mark on international cricket, and with a world cup qualifier approaching, we have the tantalizing prospect of potentially qualifying for a World Cup and the ICC Women’s Championship in 2021.”
In times like these, it is encouraging to see boards and administrators active in handling the pandemic and its gradual aftermaths.