Gary Stead, the New Zealand women's coach, has dismissed the idea that the women's game should go professional following England's victorious campaign at the World Cup in Australia earlier this month.
Stead said it was a misconception that England's women had full-time contracts in place and that had contributed to their success. "What they have done is put scholarships in place. People have got it wrong, where they think England are contracted players and full-time professionals, which certainly isn't the case," Stead was quoted as saying in the Christchurch-based Press. "They have opportunities where they can work within cricket and which allow more time for them to go and train as well."
Many of England's squad have Chance to Shine contracts where they get paid to coach 25 hours a week for a period of eight months. If they have other jobs, they can cut down on the coaching time, which means they get paid less.
Stead suggested that more could be done to cover costs from loss of earnings when players were on tour. "Australia have small contracts, but they are based along similar lines and also based around going to their academy for periods of time. Whilst we don't have an academy here, the players get some financial remuneration in terms of their loss of earnings and stuff like that. Obviously, we'd like to make that as good as we can to keep people in the game for longer."
Clare Connor, ECB's head of women's cricket, was also not aiming to establish full-time contracts in the immediate future.
The next big tournament for women is the Twenty20 World Cup in June in England. New Zealand, who were runners-up in the 50-over World Cup, will announce a 30-member preliminary squad on April 5 and conduct a camp in Lincoln between April 26 and 28. The team will then head to Australia for warm-up matches before leaving for England. "It's as comprehensive a buildup as we can get, remembering that the girls have to work as well," Stead said.