The International Cricket Council (ICC) has agreed to significantly increase the T20 World Cup prize pool for the 2020 Women’s Tournament in Australia, up an incredible 320 per cent from the 2018 tournament.
The decision by the ICC, which will see the winner and finalist take home US $1 million and US $500,000 respectively, was supported by Cricket Australia (CA), who has also committed to prize money parity for the Australian women’s team.
CA has today confirmed it will top up the prize money to ensure parity with men’s prize money wherever they finish in the tournament, a move that could see CA picking up a US $600,000 bill (AU $885,000) should the Australian women’s team take out the top prize.
Cricket Australia CEO, Kevin Roberts, said: “We want to continue our commitment to equality by ensuring that any prize money earned by the Australian Women’s team in the T20 World Cup is the same as what is on offer in the men’s side of the tournament.
“This will include matching the prize money for the final, semi-finals, or group stage,” Roberts said.
“The quality and skill level of the women’s game continues to grow and that was witnessed firsthand last week with the team breaking another world record, winning 18 consecutive ODI matches.”
“I am proud to say that cricket is the most lucrative team sport for women in Australia, with nationally contracted players receiving an average wage of more than $180,000 a year including domestic duties, while WBBL and state only contracted players earn an average of more than $55,000.
“CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) worked together to achieve significant growth in women’s payments in the current Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and cricket is now the first fully professional women’s team sport in Australia,” he said.
In 2017, Cricket Australia and the ACA negotiated a pioneering outcome for all players, offering the same base rate of pay regardless of gender.
This saw a seven-fold increase in payments for elite female cricketers, from $7.5 million over the previous five-year period to $55 million over the term of the current collective bargaining agreement, which is in place until 2023.
Since the new MoU was negotiated, all of CA’s domestic competitions give equal prize money where both men and women participate.
This year’s Big Bash leagues will split prize money topping $655,000, while the Marsh One-Day Cup and WNCL will split prize money of $530,566.
Roberts acknowledged while the growth in the women’s tournament prize money is significant, work still needs to be done to ensure parity in all sport.
“I commend the ICC’s commitment and while there is no doubt we are starting to see financial progress for our talented cricketers, we still have a way to go and CA will continue to play a role in driving equality for our athletes,” he said.
CA and ACA last week announced its landmark parental leave policy aimed at supporting professional cricketers’ through pregnancy, adoption, and their return to play.