The lengthy delay in announcement of annual retainers for the India women's team is set to end. The BCCI confirmed on Tuesday that the new central contracts have been finalised, with the players expected to formalise the agreement upon return from the ongoing quadrangular series in South Africa that concludes on May 22.
There is no clarity on whether the contracts will be backdated to October 2016, when they were to originally come into effect for the following season. "Contracts were discussed, but we weren't given a time frame," a player told ESPNcricinfo in March, when retainers for the men's team were announced.
Currently, the women cricketers are being paid on a series-to-series basis since the contracts expired, apart from earning daily allowances, which have been made at par with the men's team and fixed at US$125 per day on international tours and the equivalent of $100 during a home series.
Women cricketers were awarded contracts for the first time in November 2015, with Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur and Thirush Kamini bracketed in Grade A that carries a retainer of INR 15 lakh. Seven other players were handed Grade B contracts worth INR 10 lakh each.
Meanwhile, the 15-member squad for the World Cup that begins on June 24, with India taking on hosts England, is likely to be announced on May 15. In what would be a first, business-class travel for the women's team is also likely to be cleared before the team departs.