The Hundred Highlights Cricket’s Continuing Progress Over Gender Pay Gap

Go back less than a decade, and cricket didn’t have the best reputation when it came to the gender pay gap. As recently as 2012, the daily living allowance for players at the Women’s World T20 was only two-thirds of what their male counterparts received. 

 

The Hundred
The Hundred. Pic Credits: ECB

 

There were also some awkward questions for the sport’s governing body, the ICC after it emerged that female players flew to the tournament in economy seats. For the men, meanwhile, it was business class. Coupled with a vast gulf in prize money, there was plenty to suggest that the attitude at the top of cricket over this issue wasn’t right.

Change has come in the years since, however. The 2017-18 Big Bash Leagues in Australia saw prize money parity between genders with the same purse for the men’s and women’s competitions. Limited overs cricket provides the most excitement, evidenced by the thrilling conclusion to the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England, so seeing this take the lead has helped address the situation.

That equal pay across the sexes, as well as professionalizing the women’s game Down Under, may explain why Australia has continued to dominate on that side. Their continuing success in international cricket certainly hasn’t come by accident.

 

 

Ahead of the belated launch of The Hundred, an even shorter format of the game than Twenty20 leagues like the IPL follows the example set by the Big Bash right from the start. Both men’s and women’s competitions will offer equal prize money. 

It is evidence that behaviors among the organizers in the sport have changed on this topic. The Hundred is in the ECB’s own words “a step towards making cricket gender-balanced”. Prize money for cricket leagues is one thing, but what about international tournaments where the contrast was previously so stark?

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The ICC has also committed to equal prize money for its major limited-overs events. Just as Australia’s women picked up $1,000,000 for success in the 2020 T20 World Cup, that purse is the same for the winners of the men’s event coming up later this year in India.

 

Virat Kohli. PC: Getty Images
Virat Kohli. PC: Getty Images

 

Prize money is one thing, but salaries are quite another. Virat Kohli is again the highest-paid cricketer in the world this year with a reported total income of $24,000,000, and no woman features among the top 10 of the sport’s rich list. 

Kohli will lead the host nation at the men’s T20 World Cup with India 2/1 favorites in the outright cricket betting on the tournament, looking to make the most of home advantage. His income is certainly not generated from prize money alone, but lucrative international contracts across all formats, an IPL deal, sponsorships, and image rights.

Over the issue of equal pay, great strides have already been made in cricket. There is still some way to go, however, until the matter can finally be put to bed. Central contracts offered by national teams will be the next thing to come under examination. 

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