In a bid to “tackle discrimination”, BCCI on Thursday announced equal match fee for both men and women cricketers. The historic decision was announced by BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who in his tweet claimed that pay equity was his commitment to Indian women cricketers, and further mentioned how the move will usher a “new era of gender equality in Indian cricket”.

“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 Indian Cricket,” Shah’s tweet read.

In a follow up tweet, Shah explained the fee distribution further and wrote, “The @BCCIWomen cricketers will be paid the same match fee as their male counterparts. Test (INR 15 lakhs), ODI (INR 6 lakhs), T20I (INR 3 lakhs). Pay equity was my commitment to our women cricketers and I thank the Apex Council for their support. Jai Hind.”

It should be noted that earlier this year, New Zealand Cricket announced that its women cricketers will be paid the same as male counterparts. Since August 1, the New Zealand’s women’s national team and domestic women players have started receiving the same match fee as men.

The Facts of the Matter

In the last few years, interest around women’s cricket in India has been on a pleasant upswing. The 2020 Women’s T20 Challenge registered a never before 5.34 billion minutes of viewership in India, 2.45 times increase from 2019. Further, Indian women’s cricket team won the recently held Asia Cup, finished the final of women’s T20 world cup 2020, and also won the silver medal in 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Thanks to the increasing interest, now BCCI has announced equal match fee for both men and women cricketers in India.


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Rs 15 Lakhs, Rs 6 Lakhs, Rs 3 Lakhs: A Look at Match Fee

On Thursday, BCCI secretary Jay 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 Indian Cricket.”

“The @BCCIWomen cricketers will be paid the same match fee as their male counterparts. Test (INR 15 lakhs), ODI (INR 6 lakhs), T20I (INR 3 lakhs). Pay equity was my commitment to our women cricketers and I thank the Apex Council for their support. Jai Hind,” a second follow-up tweet by Jay Shah read.


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First Ever Women’s IPL To Happen in 2023

As noted above, interest around Indian women’s cricket has been on an upswing, causing the BCCI to look into revenue generating streams such as women’s IPL. A few days ago, the BCCI AGM announced that the first ever women’s IPL will be held sometime in 2023.

NZ Made Similar Historic Decision Earlier

Although a welcome move, it should be noted that the Indian cricket board is not the first board to introduce pay equity. Earlier this year, New Zealand made the historic announcement of introducing equal pay to both men and women cricketers in playing both domestically and internationally.


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“Unfair to say..”: Smriti Mandhana

While pay equity is a step in the right direction, it has its fair share of naysayers. This includes prolific batter Smriti Mandhana, who in 2020 was quoted saying, “We need to understand that the revenue we get is through men’s cricket. The day women’s cricket starts earning revenue, I will be the first person to say that we need the same thing. But right now, we can’t say that.”

“It is unfair on our part to say that we need to be paid as much as the men – it is not right. So, I don’t think I want to comment on that gap,” she had further added.

 

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