Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world with over 2.5bn fans worldwide. Whilst played all over Europe, it is most popular in South Asia with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India boasting the biggest audience.
So much so that India has become the home of one of the biggest competitions in the sport, the Indian Premier League. The IPL was estimated to have an average viewership of over 116 million in 2021.
It has become such a phenomenon in the sport that the best players from England, Australia and New Zealand have flocked to the league in droves, bringing along with them millions of viewers. And its not just the IPL that is popular, there are many different cricket tournaments that take place globally each year with cricket fans being able to bet on some of the biggest cricket competitions, as sports betting on cricket becomes increasingly popular.
Growth of women’s cricket
Throughout the last decade, the women’s cricket has grown incredibly, starting with the first ICC T20 World Cup in 2009. Though the first three tournaments welcomed eight participants, its popularity forced the ICC to raise this number to 10 in 2014.
The women’s game grew so much a women’s version of the Indian Premier League was suggested after the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup. This came to fruition in 2018 with the Women’s T20 Challenge tournament.
In that time, the salaries of some of the best female cricketers in the world have rightfully grown as fans have turned their eyes towards women’s cricket. This was proven when in 2020, 80,000 fans filled Melbourne Cricket Ground to see Australia India.
Highest paid female cricketers
Lets take a look at some of the highest paid female cricketers.
Sarah Taylor – 46.62 Lakhs
In 2008, Sarah became the youngest woman cricketer to score 1000 runs in One Day Internationals when she scored 75 not out at Taunton when England beat India.
The English batswoman has become one of the best cricketers in the country, accumulating nearly 4000 runs. She has been integral to England’s success in recent years, and it is no wonder she is the highest-paid female cricketer in the country.
Harmanpreet Kaur – 50 Lakhs
Kaur is one of the most important figures in women’s cricket. Her masterful 171 not out in the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup marked her as a pioneer of Indian cricket and arguably changed the outlook of the game itself.
The all-rounder was awarded the Arjuna Award for Cricket in the year 2017 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and In October 2019 she became the first cricketer for India, male or female, to play in 100 international Twenty20 matches.
The 32-year-old has racked up over 2500 ODI runs with a batting average of 34.95, making her one of the most formidable Indian batswomen in the world.
Smriti Mandhana – 50 Lakhs
For all that Kaur has achieved, Mandhana is the best Indian women’s cricketer in the world. What is most incredible however is how she has done it all at such a young age.
In December 2018, the ICC awarded her with the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the best female cricketer of the year at just 22-years-old. She was also awarded the ODI player of the year, that same year.
Adapting to all three formats, the Sydney Thunder opening batswoman is certifiably the best Indian women’s cricketer in the world and still just 25, has plenty of glory-filled years ahead of her.
Meg Lanning – 95 Lakhs
Lanning has lead the Australian national cricket team for years. Affectionately known as the Megastar of Australian cricket, Lanning has some incredible records.
She is the only female player to score more than 10 ODI centuries and boasts an average of 54 in ODIs and 34 in T20Is. The success she has brought to any team she has played on has earned her a huge contract and she will carry on being an integral member of the Australian national team.
Ellyse Perry – 95.32 Lakhs
There is no doubt that Perry has earnt her spot on the top of this list. Aside from being one of the best cricketers in the world, the multi-faceted athlete has remarkably represented Australia in both cricket and football World Cup tournaments.
She holds the record for the highest score in a test match with a phenomenal 213 not out. She has led the Kangaroos bowling unit since she was 17 and is a testament to the women’s game and the progress that has been made in the sport.
How does the earnings compare to male cricketers?
Whilst these athletes are well paid, their earnings unfortunately pale in comparison to their male counterparts. Although achieving the same, and in some cases eclipsing them, female players are still paid just a fraction of what the men will earn.
Though this disparity has decreased in recent years, there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure these women are paid fairly. There have been some moves made to combat this, with the prize money for the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup being equal to the male prize-pot, something that will be mirrored in the 2022 World Cup.
The level of popularity that women’s cricket is currently enjoying is more than deserved and the changes that have been welcomed in regard to the pay gap were long overdue. There is still a way to go but there is no doubt that this current generation of female cricketers are going to change the sporting landscape as we know it.
Loves all things female cricket