Diana Edulji backs BCCI’s Pay Equity Policy

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) a few days back put out an official update on the launch of the Women’s Indian Premier League (W-IPL) and followed the good news with a much better one in announcing Pay Equity Policy for its female contracted players.

Diana Edulji. PC: Getty Images
Diana Edulji. PC: Getty Images


On both fronts; Women’s IPL and Pay Equity Policy, The Indian Express got in conversation with former Indian skipper, Diana Edulji and she on recent developments for women’s cricket in India said, “It is a boost and now a lot more girls will come up and play domestic cricket and make a name for themselves. IPL (women’s) is around the corner and everything is readymade for women’s cricket to be a great career in India.

“I am very happy with this news and it is a great Diwali gift given by BCCI to women cricketers. By announcing this the BCCI has taken a big step in recognizing women cricketers and women’s cricket.”

Previously, female cricketers received ₹4 Lakh for a Test outing and ₹1 Lakh for each white-ball outing. Now that the landmark decision has been announced by the BCCI, its female contracted players will 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.

The current pay format sees the BCCI contracted women cricketers fall under 3 grades which see Grade A players receive ₹50 lakh annually, Grade B players receive ₹30 lakhs annually and Grade C players receive ₹10 lakhs annually.

The 2021 contracts saw only 3 players in the highest pay, Grade A bracket, while Grade B and C have 10 and 6 players respectively which seems very unfair of many names missing out on the top bracket, and for the same, it’s come to notice that the board is working towards making changes in the annual retainers.

Diana Edulji recollected memories from her playing days when the Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) existed and said, “We traveled in unreserved compartments. We could not help it, there was no money and it was only after the BCCI took over women’s cricket in 2006 that things started looking better. And I am glad we laid the foundation stone, Shantha (Rangaswamy) and myself fought hard for it.

Our views are still being taken into consideration. I won’t grudge anything. We paid from our pockets also but we played for passion. Now they (the current team) have to play for passion and pride because they are representing the board and country which is very prestigious.

We didn’t have match fees and we paid to play. When we went to Australia for the World Cup, each girl was asked to pay Rs 10,000 to play for India which was a lot of money. There were four of us from Maharashtra and we made an appeal to chief minister AR Antulay. We said we did not have the money. He immediately gave the cheque.

As a CoA (Committee of Administrators) member I saw to it that women got their one-time benefit and a pension for women cricketers who had played less than 10 Test matches. Also for the current team, accommodation in five-star hotels in single rooms (they used to share rooms), traveling business class (all trips were not business class) and that women got the same daily allowance as men.

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But BCCI has taken a huge step in bringing parity with match fees being raised, and with the women’s IPL starting. I think women cricketers can’t ask for anything more. They are just about getting everything they require because they are playing well. If they were not playing well nobody would have taken an interest. They are being recognized for their performances and it is also time the players also gave back an ICC trophy to the country.”

One shouldn’t miss out on understanding the wider picture where male and female cricketers drawing the same sums in a financial year is still far from achieved, but towards achieving the same, this is a big first step taken.

The rocketing pace at which women’s cricket is booming, calls for regular changes become a must, and the International Cricket Council (ICC) has consistently done well in answering to change. The ICC recently got started with the Future Tour Programme (FTP) which when expands and gets busier, the sum difference in a financial year will completely be closed out.

The goodies the BCCI is rewarding its female players with, come on the back of the side pleasing their top bosses with an exceptional run. Following their ODI World Cup exit in New Zealand early this year, the team in August claimed Silver at the Commonwealth Games, in September, registered a historic series win in England and in October, bagged their 7th Asia Cup title.

(Quotes sourced from The Indian Express)

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