Cricket sees path to pay parity for domestic players

Women's retainers are currently at 70 per cent of their male counterparts

CA are determined to keep closing the pay gap  •  Cricket Australia via Getty Images

CA are determined to keep closing the pay gap  •  Cricket Australia via Getty Images

Cricket is in the box seat to become the first major Australian sport to achieve pay parity at a domestic level, after a landmark deal to significantly increase the earnings of female players.
Women emerged as the biggest winners in cricket's pay deal on Monday, with an extra AU$53 million in the player pool over the next five years and a pay rise of 66 percent.
Those winnings will be felt most significantly at domestic level, where the average pay packet will sit at AU$151,000 for players with state and WBBL deals.
The majority of dual-format female players will also earn six figures for the first time, with minimum state contracts set at around AU$60,000 and the lowest-paid WBBL player on close to AU$20,000.
Match payments have also been brought in line with men's, with a touch over AU$2000 paid per day played, topping up the salaries to the biggest in women's sport.
The figures leave women's retainers in state contracts at 70 per cent of their male counterparts, with genuine belief parity can be reached in future deals.
"We're on a journey," Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said. "We have seen an overall 26 percent increase in player pay, but a 66 percent increase in payments to our female players.
"We are on a path, we are not there yet. But we have taken a major step forward in closing the gap."
Both CA and the players' union will put a focus on trying to further commercialise the game, with a doubling of the WBBL salary cap to AU$732,000 aimed at keeping the best overseas talent.
"If we unlock commercialisation, that's the key," former Australian star Rachael Haynes said. "If we do that, I think we will get parity.
"Enabling players more time to invest in themselves and their game, naturally that will help them get better."
Officials are also predicting multiple female players could crack the AU$1 million mark, when combining their national salaries, WBBL deals and overseas contracts.
While national contracts are well below their male counterparts, the top-earning female will now earn AU$800,000 combined from their Australian and WBBL deals, while the next six will average AU$500,000.
"I think we'll have a few of millionaires in the next few years," Australian Cricketers Association CEO Todd Greenberg said. "And so they should because they're the best in the world at what they do."