A wage equity policy for contracted Indian women cricketers was announced by the BCCI in a historic move. The match fee for both men and women cricketers will be the same. BCCI secretary Jay Shah took to Twitter to announce the development. “I’m pleased to announce BCCI’s first step towards tackling discrimination. We are implementing a pay equity policy for our contracted women cricketers. The match fee for both Men and Women Cricketers will be the same as we move into a new era of gender equality in Indian Cricket,” Shah tweeted.
I’m pleased to announce @BCCI’s first step towards tackling discrimination. We are implementing pay equity policy for our contracted @BCCIWomen cricketers. The match fee for both Men and Women Cricketers will be same as we move into a new era of gender equality in 🇮🇳 Cricket. pic.twitter.com/xJLn1hCAtl
— Jay Shah (@JayShah) October 27, 2022
This means the women players will now get ₹15 lakh per test match, ₹6 lakh for a One-Day International (ODI), and ₹3 lakh for a T20 International. Before this, there was a huge gap between the match fee received by male cricketers and their female counterparts. Till now, they were paid ₹1 lakh for a white-ball match, and ₹4 lakh for a Test.
While the decision mandating equal pay is a great step, there’s still a significant difference in the retainership amounts paid to male and female cricket players. This has not changed as of yet.
Male cricketers have four categories in annual contracts – Grades A+, A, B and C. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah are the three male cricketers in Grade A+ and they earn ₹7 crore annually. For those in A, B and C categories, they receive ₹5 crore, ₹3 crore and ₹1 crore respectively. According to the annual contracts of female cricketers, there are three categories – A, B and C. In A, players get a retainership fee of ₹50 lakh, followed by ₹30 lakh and ₹10 lakh respectively.
The amount of revenue that male cricketers bring in for the Indian cricket board is the obviously behind this discrepancy. With the first women’s IPL set to be played in March next year, the focus of women’s cricket is now set on winning matches for India and drawing crowds to earn revenues that will be on par with the men’s team. Regardless, this action is a great step towards recognizing women cricketers and women’s cricket.