NEW DELHI: In a landmark move, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made a giant stride towards ensuring gender equality by announcing that both men and women cricketers would be getting the same pay for representing India in international matches.
The move is significant as for a long time, women cricketers have been demanding same pay as their male counterparts. The Board’s path-breaking decision will also ensure that the women cricket in the country gets a leg up.
The historic announcement was made by BCCI SecretaryJay Shah on October 25, through a tweet that said: “I am pleased to announce our first step towards tackling discrimination. We are implementing pay equity policy for our contracted women players. With this the women players are slated to get Rs 15 lakh. Rs 6 lakh and Rs 3 lakh for Tests, ODIs and T20s respectively. This corresponds to a four-fold increase (Tests) and six-fold hike in ODIs and three times rise in T20s.”
The Board’sdecision was met with loud appreciation from all sections of the sports fraternity. . Mithali Raj, the highest scorer in international women cricket, termed it as “historic” and said this would take the women cricket in the country to another level. Former BCCI chief SouravGangulyalso congratulated the BCCI for its “brave decision”.
For some former women cricketers, it was a bitter-sweet moment. PoornimaRao, who has captained India,said the Board’s decision was a vindication of whatever the women cricketers have been asking for the last so many years, based on their performance. “The performance of our women cricketers has been on a par with that of men and we felt we had made a legitimate demand. I am happy to see that the Board has finally heeded to it,” she said.
The BCCI move has another positive ramification; many parents will now be encouraging their daughters take to cricket from an early age, “The fallout of this is enormous. We are going to find a lot of girls taking up cricket across the cities and villages in our country,” said Anita Kumari, a cricket coach at the DDA Sports Complex in Saket.
Anita further said since the Board’s decision, lot of parents have been coming over and enquiring about the places where girls can hone their basic skills in cricket. “In the coming days we will see more and more parents making a beeline for sending their children to coaching academies. I think this is going to make the women cricket very popular in the country,” she said.
The latest move makes the BCCI only the second cricket board in the world, after the New Zealand, to introduce pay-parity for women cricketers. Also, cricket now becomes on a par with table tennis, hockey and badminton, which have gender equality in terms of pay. By addressing the gender-parity issue, the world’s richest and most powerful Board has also set the path for the other sports federations to tread upon.
It is also hoped that the BCCI decision will also act as a booster for the proposed Women’s IPL, which is scheduled to be held next year.
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