BCCI thinking to update Annual Salary in Central Contracts for Female Cricketers

In welcome news, BCCI’s Secretary Jay Shah on Thursday announced that female cricketers will now be paid equal match fees compared to their male counterparts. The fans are now demanding a raise in the Annual Central contracts as well which still see a huge disparity between male and female cricketers.

Harmanpreet Kaur, Richa Ghosh and Rajeshwari Gayakwad. PC: Getty Images
Harmanpreet Kaur, Richa Ghosh and Rajeshwari Gayakwad. PC: Getty Images


The previous pay format saw the BCCI contracted women cricketers fall under 3 grades which had Grade A players receive ₹50 lakh annually, Grade B players receive ₹30 lakhs annually and Grade C players receive ₹10 lakhs annually. The landmark decision that the BCCI has now adopted will see its female contracted players take home the same match fee as their male counterparts, i.e; ₹15 Lakh for each Test, ₹6 Lakh for each One-Day International (ODI) and ₹3 Lakh for each Twenty20 International (T20I) game.

For the adoption of equal pay, the BCCI deserves a lot of credit, but the wider problem in closing out the total sum BCCI contracted male and female take home will be directly impacted by the difference in the number of matches the side play.

Nevertheless, women’s cricket now is a booming industry that’s rocketing at some pace which calls for moving developments. The International Cricket Council (ICC) getting started with the Future Tour Programme (FTP) this time around for women cricketers, was one such development. One would also hope with time, there’ll be busy FTPs for women cricketers which will result in closing out on the gap between the total sum, male and female cricketers bank monthly or annually.

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It is understood by ESPN Cricinfo that the BCCI is in talks with the country’s top women cricketers to work out changes to the annual retainers. The sides skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur is believed to have attended a meeting held at the board’s headquarters in Mumbai. The 2021 contracts saw only 3 players in the highest pay, Grade A bracket, while Grade B and C had 10 and 6 players respectively which seemed very unfair of many names missing out on the top bracket.

The Indian women’s side of late hasn’t missed out on pleasing the top bosses with successful series and tournaments. In September, the team during their England tour registered a historic series, in October, bagged their 7th Asia Cup title win and months back in August had claimed a podium finish with a Silver medal around their necks at the Commonwealth Games.

The BCCI in return too hasn’t missed out on rewarding their players as it first was in form of the confirmation of the inception of the Women’s Indian Premier League (W-IPL) and now the pay hike. With regards to the Women’s IPL, it is understood to have been a priority agenda that now has the board working towards finalizing a process for Television rights and franchise ownership. Discussions are also being held on whether there’ll be a draft process or an auction for the players.

(Inputs sourced from ESPNcricinfo)

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