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New Zealand’s women’s cricketers will be paid the same as their male counterparts after a “landmark agreement” was reached to close the gender pay gap across all formats and competitions.
From 1 August, the women’s national team and domestic women’s players will receive the same match fees as men as part of a five-year deal struck between New Zealand Cricket, the six major associations and the players’ union.
It is the first time the men’s and women’s professional environments have been combined in one agreement, with the new figures calculated from all NZC forecasted revenue over the course of the deal, a proportion of which – amounting to an expected $104m – is allocated to professional players.
It means the highest ranked White Ferns player can receive a maximum of $163,246 a year, up from $83,432, while the top-ranked women’s domestic players would be able to receive a maximum of $19,146 (up from $3,423).
While the men’s national team players will be paid the same match fees for T20I and ODI matches as the women, they are still likely to earn more, based on a higher number of matches played, formats contested and time spent training and playing.
That means top Black Caps players can earn up to $523,396, while high-ranking domestic men’s players would be in line to receive a maximum of $102,707.
But White Ferns captain Sophie Devine said the agreement was a game-changer for women’s cricket and would encourage others to take up the sport.
“It’s great for the international and domestic women players to be recognised in the same agreement, alongside the men,” Devine said. “It’s a massive step forward and will be a huge drawcard for young women and girls.”
The deal also sees an increase from 54 top 72 in the total number of women’s domestic contracts – with restricted obligations that leave players free to retain other employment or study commitments – and an increase in annual contracts from nine to 12 per team.
It also seeks to ensure women cricketers are on an equal footing with men in teams of travel and accommodation, and the wider playing and training environment. Pregnancy and childcare provisions contained in the existing agreements have been retained.
Devine’s opposite number in the men’s national team, Kane Williamson, said the new deal could help secure the future of the game in New Zealand.
“It’s really important for the current players to build on the legacy of those who have gone before us, and to support tomorrow’s players, both men and women, at all levels,” he said. “This agreement goes a long way towards achieving that.”