The Indian men’s and women’s cricket teams will be paid the same appearance fees for representing their country, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah said on Thursday. Under the agreement, women players at international level will receive the same match fees as men in all formats – 1,500,000 rupees (S$25,660) for Tests, 600,000 rupees for one-day internationals (ODIs) and 300,000 for 20 internationals.
“We are implementing a fair pay policy for our BCCI contracted women cricketers,” Shah wrote in a post on Twitter. The match fee for male and female cricketers will be the same as we move into a new era of gender equality in Indian cricket. Indian women cricketers currently earn INR 400,000 per Test appearance and 100,000 per T20 and ODI and also play less cricket than their male counterparts.
Shah did not say whether there would be changes to the contract system for women. Under the current annual contracts, female cricketers in the top bracket earn Rs 5 crore, while the B grade players take home Rs 3 crore and the C grade Rs 1 crore. The A+ men get 70 million, while those in A, B and C take home 50 million, 30 million and 10 million respectively, meaning the lowest-ranked men still earn twice as much as the top female cricketers.
The Indian women’s team is ranked fourth in both ODI and T20I standings and beat Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final in October to claim their seventh title. Former Indian women’s captain Mithali Raj called the announcement “historic” on Twitter.
“The pay equity policy along with the (Women’s Indian Premier League) next year ushers in a new era for women’s cricket in India,” Raj wrote. In July, New Zealand Cricket and the country’s players’ association signed a five-year deal that will see male and female cricketers receive equal pay. In 2017, Cricket Australia gave contracted women the same basic hourly wage as men in a five-year collective agreement. Earlier this year, the BCCI said that a full-fledged women’s IPL could begin as early as next year.