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Fault in the payment structure of Indian Cricket.

May 23, 2021

Written By,

Ankit Seth

Are the female cricketers of India paid enough? The answer to that question is a simple no. There is a massive pay gap between the man and the women representing India. Fans were not pleased to see that the Board of Control for Cricket in India has yet again failed to bridge the gap in the payment structure.

The players, as per the announcement, are split into 3 categories. Grade A players would earn an annual retainer of Rs 50 lakh. Grade B players would earn Rs 30 Lakh and Grade C players would earn an annual retainer of Rs 10 Lakhs. However, interestingly, the highest-earning women as per the contracts earn only half of what the top Indian men’s national players make.

No doubt players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have definitely paid their dues in making it to the top and no one is denying it. However, the Harmanpreet Kaurs and Smriti Mandhanas also worked hard for years together, most probably against more obstacles.

The biggest problem in the Indian women’s team may not be that. As Snehal Pradhan had stated, domestic cricket is the supply line for Indian women’s cricket.

Is the supply line for Indian Women’s Cricket truly sustainable?

Women in India’s domestic cricket are paid just Rs 12,500 for every one-day game. They are paid 6250 for every T20 game played. The amount given is halved if the player doesn’t make the playing XI for the game.

On the other hand, the men are paid 35,000 rupees per one-day game and 17,500 for every T20 game. They also receive 35,000 per day for every Ranji Trophy game they play. As for women, these numbers half themselves in matches they don’t play.

This year, the women’s team only played in the women’s senior one-day trophy. A player on a team who did not make it to the top only played 5 games. That player earned just 62,500 for the year through cricket. A player regular in the Jharkhand squad that made the final would have earned 1 lakh for the entire year.

This year has surely been an anomaly but even in normal times, the difference is not much. A female cricketer that is a state team regular would make 2 to 2.5 lakh rupees if conditions were normal. It is also worth noting that the Indian Women’steam has not played a first-class tournament since the 205-16 season. We would have to go back to the 2008/09 season for an inter-state first-class tournament.

Basically, a Devdutt Padikkal earns more money in two Ranji Trophy games than an Indirani Roy makes in an entire domestic season. A female cricketer at the top of domestic games earns less money than an IT professional in their first job.

It is not the cricketers' job to market the sports they play

There has been a lot of discussion about the revenue generated by female cricketers not being enough. That does not support warranting higher pay for the players or more opportunities. To that, it is fair to point out it is not the player’s job to market the sports they play. That responsibility falls clearly on the governing body of the sports in our country – BCCI.

BCCI is the richest cricket board in the world. The least it can do for female cricketers is to make sure they are not turned away from their sports. A better would ensure more parents encouraging their children to take up cricket as a career. It would allow India to carry on the legacies of Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami.

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Written By,

Ankit Seth