Cricket Australia offers female players a 125% pay increase

Cricket Australia has offered female cricketers an average pay rise of 125% as part of a new remuneration and benefits proposal.

A new five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) aims to increase pay for female athletes, with pay for international female cricketers set to increase from $79,000 (£49,028) to $179,000 (£111,089) as of 1 July 2017. By 2021, Cricket Australia predicts that international women cricketers would earn an average of $210,000 (£130,328) under the proposed pay package.

State female cricketers, who compete in the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) and the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) would also see their remuneration increase this year, rising from $22,000 (£13,653) to $52,000 (£32,271).

Alongside the proposed changes to female cricketers’ pay, Cricket Australia is also proposing a pay increase for all cricketers. Total potential remuneration for all players, including guaranteed and performance elements, would increase by 35% from $311 million (£193,010,364) over the 2012-17 MOU period to $419 million (£260,036,471) in the MOU for 2017-22.

Under the proposal, international male cricketers would see their average yearly retainer increase to $816,000 (£506,419) by 2021-22. Including match fees, performance bonuses and Big Bash League (BBL) payments, the expected average income for these players would increase by approximately 25% from $1.16 million (£719,910) in 2016-17 to $1.45 million (£899,887.55) by 2021-22.

Domestic male cricketers who compete in state competitions and the BBL would receive a pay increase of 18% by 2021-22, with pay rising from $199,000 (£123,501) in 2016-17 to $235,000 (£145,843) by 2021-22.

The value of other benefits would also increase, with a focus on career planning, and all players would also have access to appearance payments.

The MOU is expected to be finalised by 30 June 2017.

James Sutherland, chief executive officer at Cricket Australia, said: “We are pleased that the Australian Cricketers Association agrees with us that women, for the first time, should be part of the MOU, and we have proposed a financial model that has gender equity at its heart.

“Under this offer, we will achieve gender equity by ensuring that the minimum and average hourly pay will be the same for state men and women in 2017-18. In addition, match fees for the WNCL and the Matador Cup will be exactly the same: a one-day game for a state cricketer is worth the same to both men and women.

“Cricket has led the charge on providing a real sporting career path for women, and this offer locks in all that hard work of the past few years. It is truly an historic development which allows us to say with confidence that cricket is a sport for all Australians.”

Alistair Nicholson, chief executive officer at The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), added: “Cricket Australia has responded to the ACA’s calls for improved pay and conditions for all cricket players regardless of gender and of the need for more investment in grassroots cricket.

“The ACA has fought long and hard for these causes. Men and women have stood united for a fairer deal for all and for the next generation of cricketers. The ACA commends our members for their resolve.

“The way in which these changes will be both funded and embedded in the MOU does, however, require much closer scrutiny. There is a lot of fine print to examine and a lot more forecast information still needed by the players.

“For the moment, what can be said is that this proposal shows a number of promising signs that indicate that [Cricket Australia] has been taking the ACA’s lead on various key points from our MOU submission. However, with a lack of detail in the terms and conditions that underpin this proposal, the ACA will continue to seek clarification from [Cricket Australia] and advise the players on this accordingly.”