Australia’s top female cricketers are set to become the nation’s highest-paid team sportswomen after Cricket Australia announced a landmark pay rise in the women’s game on Wednesday.
Cricket Australia said its female player payment pool would be increased from $1.8 million to $3.2 million per year for the upcoming summer, meaning the top players could earn up to “six figures” per year, reports Xinhua.
Maximum retainers for the Southern Stars — Australia’s national team — are set to rise from $37,000 to $50,000. When combined with increased maximum retainers for the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) of $12,000, the base rate for Australia’s best female cricketers rises to $62,000 per year. After the Southern Stars match payments and tour fees are added to the players’ base incomes, the top players are expected to earn in excess of six figures.
At the other end of the spectrum, lower earners are also set to get a pay rise. Minimum retainers have more than doubled, rising from $14,000 to $30,000 for the Southern Stars and $2,400 to $5500 for the WBBL.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said the sporting body was “determined” to encourage more women to play cricket.
“Cricket is a sport for all Australians and Cricket Australia will continue to invest heavily in the women’s game in the coming years,” Sutherland said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We are determined to make cricket the sport of choice for women in Australia.”
Sutherland said the recent exposure and high television ratings for the women’s game meant it was an easy decision to allocate more money towards the female players.
“We have worked constructively with the Australian Cricketers’ Association to reach this point and will continue to do so in our ongoing efforts to improve wages and workplace conditions for all elite female cricketers,” Sutherland said.
“The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars have achieved great success on the world stage, including making it through to the recent final of the ICC World T20 in India, and are great role models for the next generation of Australia’s aspiring female cricketers.”