The ICC has approved a tenfold increase in prize-money for the Women's World Cup this year, with $2 million up for grabs at the tournament, which begins in England next month. At the 2013 Women's World Cup, which was won by Australia, the total prize fund was $200,000.
"The ICC Women's World Cup is the pinnacle of the women's game and as such the players should be rewarded appropriately," the ICC chief executive, David Richardson, said. "Two million dollars is the first step towards greater parity and recognition. The prize fund for the 2013 edition was just $200,000, and this announcement shows a greater level of commitment than ever before.
"The change will not happen overnight but the women's game is crucial to the global growth of cricket. There is undoubtedly an audience for it - there were almost 18 million views of highlights of the Women's World Cup Qualifier earlier this year - and we need to grow that further. There is greater depth in the women's game and that is leading to increased competitiveness which is what fans want to see.
"We think the Women's World Cup this summer will be a turning point in the history of the game. There is growing interest globally in women's sports and we want cricket to be front and centre of this and lead by example."
The ICC also announced that, for the first time in the event's history, every match of the Women's World Cup would be broadcast either on television or live-streamed. As part of the broadcast, the DRS will be introduced into women's cricket for the first time.
"I am delighted with the commitment shown to the growth of the women's game by the ICC," Clare Connor, the chair of the ICC Women's Committee, said. "The significant uplift in prize money since 2013 and the ambition of future parity, along with every game being broadcast is a huge moment for the sport.
"To recognise the players in this way demonstrates the value women's cricket can add to the game globally and I know we'll see some exceptional cricket this summer that can grow our fan-base around the world"