The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have announced a massive boost in funding towards the growth of women’s cricket in the nation. The increase in funding will see the count of contracted players get to around 100 and will also enjoy a pay hike.
The massive boost in funding sees an addition of £3.5M to the system for each of 2023 and 2024. From the 1st of November 2022, the number of professional players funded by the ECB will go up to 7 players per region and will rise again to 10 players per region by the 1st of February 2023.
Each of the 8 regional teams will have 10 players whose contracts will be funded by the ECB which makes it a total of 80 players. Those will be joined by around 17 more who will be the ECB’s centrally contracted players, the names of those are likely to be announced in the coming weeks.
The ECB will spend £7M in funding towards the women’s domestic game in 2022 and the figure will rise to £10.5m in each of the next two years with the board injecting an additional £3.5M. The additional boost will now see each cricketer take home £25,000 yearly on average.
Clare Connor, ECB’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, on the development said, “Everyone within cricket should be immensely proud of the game-changing progress of professional women’s domestic cricket since the implementation of the Transform Women’s and Girls’ Cricket Action Plan began in 2020.
Yet another step in the right direction.
ECB’s funding will increase the number of professional women’s players, grow the salary pot and grow the average salary.#CricketTwitter #TeamEngland pic.twitter.com/6zNFxCBTTi
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) October 28, 2022
“The significant increase in funding we are announcing today will not only continue to drive the performance standards of our domestic players across England and Wales, giving the women’s game more strength in depth, but critically we are creating a more equitable future for women and girls in our sport. Young girls have a clearer pathway in cricket than ever before, and the belief that they too can aspire to be professional cricketers.
“As of February, there will be nearly 100 professional female cricketers in England and Wales. There were fewer than 20 before we launched the new regional structure in 2020.
“We’re indebted to the hard work of everyone: players, support staff and the administrators who have backed the vision and driven this change – and to the PCA, for the important role they’ve played in supporting this progression with their continued collaboration. Combined with the dramatic impact of The Hundred, we are seeing the benefits of professionalization and collaborative ways of working and cricket is thriving as a result.”
In addition to players oriented finding, there also is an increase in staffing salaries and capacity, with a focus on the science and medicine provision at each region.
For the full-time domestic contracts to go from 0 to 80 in 2 and a half years is just a problem-solving puzzle the ECB has nailed right. With The Hundred now moving into its 3rd edition, it’s all merry times ahead for women’s cricket in England where issues from the grassroot have been addressed.
(Quote sourced from ecb.co.uk)