The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may have invited criticism for a huge gap between the salary of men and women’s cricketers but it looks the women cricketers exactly know the reason behind the difference. India’s T20I vice-captain Smriti Mandhana has said that it’s the men’s cricket that generates revenue for BCCI, the reason why women cricketers can’t ask for a hike.
“We need to understand that the revenue which we get is through men’s cricket. The day women’s cricket starts getting revenue, I will be the first person to say that we need the same thing. But right now, we can’t say that,” she said.
The women cricketers did not get contracts earlier but the board started handing contracts to them from 2018. Recently, the women cricketers were handed central contracts for the fourth time – they were once handed contracts in 2015 too.
The cricketers in Grade A category will earn Rs 50 Lakh per year while players in B category will be paid Rs 30 Lakh. Players in the next category will be paid Rs 10 Lakh per year.
The 22 women cricketers will earn a total of Rs 5 Crore per year while Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Rohit Sharma will each pocket Rs 7 Crore per year. The huge pay gap will surprise many but as Mandhana said, it’s the men’s cricket that generates revenue.
The women’s cricket wasn’t much-talked-about in India but its popularity skyrocketed after the Indian team made it to the final of 2017 World Cup. They lost to England but created a huge fan base back in the country. In October, a packed stadium welcomed India and South Africa team for the five-match T20I series, which was an indication that the public has started following women’s cricket too.
Still, the board has much work to do and will have to soon make sure that women cricketers are also paid a handsome amount of money for the efforts that they put in while representing the nation.
A title win in the upcoming T20 World Cup might again see women’s cricket create a revolution in the country.