Thirteen of the 18-player USA women’s squad for the forthcoming 2011 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier which is being held in Bangladesh next month have written to USACA to complain about proposed payments for the tournament. There is now a chance that USACA will be forced to name a second-string side for the prestigious event.
Such is the level of concern that the cricketers have threatened to boycott the final pre-event training camp this weekend. In return, USACA has said any of them who do not attend will be considered unavailable for the trip and will be replaced. With the deadline for submission to the ICC of the squad set for this Saturday, time is running out for both sides.
The players’ gripe is not so much the amount as the fact that they are paid less than their male counterparts. The offer to the women is $100 a day whereas the men get $175 a day for an equivalent event. They also claim a bonus promised to them for a series against Canada earlier this year has not been paid.
“We are thrilled at representing the USA at this prestigious tournament and looking forward to achieving the goal of going to India,” an email on behalf of the 13 said. “But we are feeling very much under-appreciated, disrespected, and simply disregarded for the achievements we have made thus far in our short history and underestimated, for what we can accomplish in Bangladesh.”
USACA countered that the $100 stipend is based on projected daily costs in Bangladesh, and denied there was any discrimination.
“I think the women should be treated the same way as the men because they also have commitments and expenses and we should treat them the same way,” USACA cricket committee chairman Krish Prasad told dreamcricket.com. “We never take advantage of the exchange rate or the cost of living per se. We were always dealing with a limited amount of resources but we’re always trying to do the best for the players.”