The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced a significant and pivotal change on Wednesday, as they have decided to raise the match fees for the women’s cricket team to align them with the fees received by the men’s team.
This progressive decision has an immediate impact and will be enacted during the upcoming three-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka, commencing on Thursday.
This decision is a direct result of the tremendous success of the Women’s Ashes series that took place in June and July. The series saw unprecedented attendance, with a total of 110,000 spectators, and all three one-day internationals were completely sold out. The heightened interest and enthusiasm for women’s cricket has underscored the need for equal compensation and recognition for the female athletes.
England women’s captain, Heather Knight, expressed her delight at the implementation of equal match fees, foreseeing its positive impact on encouraging more girls and young women to take up cricket. The move is expected to contribute significantly to the growth and popularity of the sport among females.
The initiative was prompted by a report published last month by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, which highlighted the stark inequality in match fees. The report revealed that women’s match fees were only 25% of what their male counterparts received for white-ball matches, and a mere 15% for test matches.
Richard Gould, the CEO of ECB, acknowledged that while they are currently reviewing all the recommendations from the Independent Commission, the decision to equalize match fees was an immediate step that they were proud to implement.
He emphasized the collective desire to see cricket become the preferred team sport for female athletes and underlined the organization’s commitment to striving for complete equality across the sport.