BCCI bats for pay parity, same match fees for women & men: ‘New era of equality’ – The Indian Express

IN A significant decision, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday announced a “pay equity policy”, saying that its centrally-contracted men and women players would get the same match fees.
This means the women players will now get Rs 15 lakh per Test match, Rs 6 lakh for a One-Day International (ODI), and Rs 3 lakh for a T20 International. Till now, they were paid Rs 1 lakh for a white-ball match, and Rs 4 lakh for a Test.
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
The annual retainership for women cricketers remains the same — Rs 50 lakh for Grade A, Rs 30 lakh for Grade B and Rs 10 lakh for Grade C. The men, who play more games, are paid Rs 1-7 crore, depending on their grade.
The decision was taken at the BCCI Apex Council emergent meeting. “I am pleased to announce @ BCCI’s first step towards tackling discrimination. We are implementing a pay equity policy for our contracted @BCCIWomen cricketers. The match fees for both men and women cricketers will be the same as we move into a new era of gender equality in cricket,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah tweeted.
“In our Apex Council meeting today, we have made a marquee decision on pay equity for our women cricketers. Our women players will be paid the same match fees as men in international cricket. This decision sets the platform to grow and develop cricket. I believe this is a significant step forward for women’s cricket and the game overall,” BCCI president Roger Binny said in a statement.
With this, India has become the second country in international cricket to implement equal pay. Earlier this year, New Zealand Cricket had announced equal match fees for its women players.
Truly a red letter day for Women’s Cricket in India with pay parity announced for women and men. Thank you @BCCI and @JayShah
— Harmanpreet Kaur (@ImHarmanpreet) October 27, 2022
Former India captain Diana Edulji, who played in an era when the game was run by the Women’s Cricket Association of India, said she and her teammates had to pay from their pockets to play for the country, even at a World Cup, and match fees were unheard of.
Edulji, now 66, a former member of the Committee of Administrators, said the pay parity announced by the BCCI was a “Diwali gift” for women cricketers and the reward for their progress on the field.
With the first women’s IPL set to be played in March next year, Edulji said it would encourage more girls to take up the game. “It is a boost, and more girls will come 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,” she told The Indian Express.
“The BCCI has taken a big step in recognising women cricketers and women’s cricket,” Edulji said.
Current India captain Harmanpreet Kaur tweeted: “Truly a red-letter day for women’s cricket in India with pay parity announced for women and men”.
This is a historic decision for women’s cricket in India! The pay equity policy along with the WIPL next year, we are ushering into a new era for women’s cricket in India. Thank you @JayShah Sir & the @BCCI for making this happen. Really happy today. https://t.co/xOwWAwsxfz
— Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) October 27, 2022
Edulji, who played for India from 1976 to 1993, recalled how there was no money in the women’s game then and basic facilities were lacking. “We travelled in unreserved compartments. We could not help it, there was no money. It was only after the BCCI took over women’s cricket in 2006 that things started looking better. 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 the country, which is very prestigious,” she said.

“We didn’t get match fees and we paid to play. When we went to Australia for the World Cup (1982), 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 then Chief Minister A R Antulay. We said we did not have the money. He immediately gave us a cheque,” she recalled.
“This is a really positive step for the game and for players in India. Following the recent announcement regarding the women’s IPL, we hope it is yet another step towards gender equity across all areas of the game in India, and in more countries around the world,” Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) CEO Tom Moffat said in a text message to The Indian Express.
It was when Edulji was a member of the Committee of Administrators of the BCCI that women cricketers were given one-time benefit payments, pension was paid to those who had played less than 10 Test matches, and the current players got an upgrade in travel and stay facilities – they didn’t have to share rooms in five-star hotels, business class travel became a norm, and daily allowances were raised to match the men’s team.
“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. It is also time the players also gave back an ICC trophy to the country,” said Edulji.
Over the last few years, the Indian women’s team’s on-field results have shown a remarkable upswing. They almost won the 2017 50-over World Cup in England, going down to the hosts in a cliffhanger. They also reached the 2020 T20 World Cup final and the summit clash of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games earlier this year, losing to Australia on both occasions. They recently won the Asia Cup for the seventh time in eight editions and their first ODI series in England in over two decades.
Edulji said the 2017 World Cup final at Lord’s was the turning point for the game in India.
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