A huge step has been taken to bridge the gender pay gap as the England and Wales Cricket Board have committed to making The Hundred tournament a gender balanced competition.
On top of the tournament organisers having announced a full women’s tournament to compliment the men’s version, it has been confirmed that both the men and women’s teams will receive equal prize money as the total of £600,000 will be divided 50/50.
This initiative will see South African cricketers Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Mignon du Preez and Dané van Niekerk benefit as they have been signed for the upcoming competition that will take place from July 17.
This is an important step according to Beth Barrett-Wild, the head of The Hundred’s women’s competition, while also highlighted that there is much more to do.
“We’re really proud of our movement towards making cricket a gender-balanced sport,” Wild pointed out on thehundred.com, “And whilst we’re aware there is more to do in this space, this is an important step in the right direction.
“It’s recognition for the women’s players and the huge value they bring to The Hundred.” – Beth Barrett-Wild, head of The Hundred’s women’s competition
“The ECB is committed to transforming women’s and girls’ cricket, from inspiring young girls to pick up a bat for the first time, through to establishing the women’s game as a professional career option. This announcement today represents one signal of intent towards that commitment.”
For years the cry for equal pay fell on deaf ears and to this day it is still a major talking point. However, it is encouraging to see steps being taken to ensure that in future women will be afforded equal pay.
The ECB have set the tone for the rest of the world to follow as criticism has continued to overshadow various sporting federations.
Despite this improvement, individual contracts remain under scrutiny as international sports journalist and cricket commentator, Alison Mitchell, pointed out on her Twitter page saying, “Prize pot only goes to a few teams remember, and Player of Match awards thru comp.
“Male players’ actual pay remains far greater. Highest bracket in Hundred 125k compared to women £15k. I don’t think too many male players will be indignant about prize money split.” – cricket commentator, Alison Mitchell
While Mitchell made a valid point, it can be said that this is a significant step in the right direction as the growth of women’s cricket is on an exciting journey.
And while the ICC has to be lauded for its promise to pay parity in the future after announcing a 360 per cent increase in overall prize money for the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, this still falls behind the amount the men’s winning team will receive at this point.
Australia’s leading cricketer Ellyse Perry told the Sunday Morning Herald newspaper that they believe it is a matter of time for equal pay to be introduced.
“Certainly, parity across the board is really important and prize money is one of those things I think we will get to.” – Professional cricketer, Ellyse Perry
“But if we’re going to talk about parity, [it would be good] to see some affirmative action for some of the countries that aren’t as fortunate as us.”
Perry’s teammate, Alyssa Healy, says that with the increase of the prize money at the T20 World Cup it is a move that she is grateful for.
“[Prize money] has grown exponentially over the last cycle, so it’s moving in the right direction,” said Healy.
With there being a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, one could only hope that the women’s side of the game on all continents will be on par.
Photo 1 Caption: South African cricketer, Mignon du Preez, will feature for the Manchester Originals at The Hundred competition from 17 July 2020. Photo: Manchester Originals (Instagram)
Photo 2 Caption: South African cricketer, Lizelle Lee, will join fellow country-mate Mignon du Preez at The Hundred competition and will feature for the Manchester Originals from 17 July 2020. Photo: Manchester Originals (Instagram)