The average wage of Australia’s international female cricketers is set to skyrocket following a historic Memorandum of Understanding offer from Cricket Australia to the Australian Cricketers’ Association.
Under the five-year offer tabled by the game’s governing body, the average pay packet of professional female cricketers in Australia would rise by more than 125 per cent.
That would see the average domestic player salary rise from $22,000 to $52,000 for cricketers contracted to teams from the Women’s National Cricket League and the Women’s Big Bash League, while the average international players’ wage would rise from $79,000 to $179,000.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, that latest figure is expected to rise to $210,000 by 2021.
The Memorandum of Understanding is also good news for Australia’s male cricketers, with the average state cricketer playing in the Matador Cup and Big Bash League set to see their salary rise from $199,000 to $235,000 by 2021/22.
Average international wages for male players, including BBL contracts, match fees and performance bonuses, will rise to $1.45 million by 2021-22, up from the current figure of $1.16m.
“We are pleased that the Australian Cricketers Association agrees with us that women, for the first time, should be part of the Memorandum of Understanding, and we have proposed a financial model that has gender equity at its heart,” Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said.
“Under this offer, we will achieve gender equity by ensuring that the minimum and average hourly pay will be the same for state men and women in 2017/18. In addition, match fees for the WNCL and the Matador Cup will be exactly the same: a one-day game for a state cricketer is worth the same to both men and women.
“We are also introducing, for the first time, prizemoney for the WNCL of $258,000 and the WBBL of $309,000 this coming summer.
“Cricket has led the charge on providing a real sporting career path for women, and this offer locks in all that hard work of the past few years. It is truly an historic development which allows us to say with confidence that cricket is a sport for all Australians.”
The deal is also set to see investment in grassroots player development rise, with Cricket Australia committing itself to finding an extra $25m to put towards the area. Should they follow through on that commitment, the total funding for grassroots cricket would rise to $76m.
While the deal is not yet official, Sutherland said he was confident of signing a complete agreement by July this year.
“We understand that the ACA prefers the status quo, but CA believes that the model devised in the 1990s, which is based on a fixed percentage of revenue, has served its intended purpose – to make Australia’s cricketers some of the best paid sportspeople in the country,” Sutherland said.
“It was a means to an end, not something that has to hold us back from providing players with financial certainty, a fair deal for all players including women, and the flexibility to invest in the grassroots of the game.
“This is a landmark agreement. We are now looking forward to sitting down with the ACA to work through the details and we are confident we will be able to announce a completed agreement before June 30.”