Cricket is a sport that men for ages have dominated. But Women’s cricket is also gaining popularity now, and the ladies are making their presence known. Indian Women’s cricket team has been very successful in recent years. They rank no.4 in ODIs and no.3 in T20I Team rankings. On May 19, 2021, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the Annual Player Contracts list for the salary of the Indian Women’s cricket team.
The pay structure is sorted into three categories: Grade A, B, and C. Grade A players will receive INR 50 lakhs per annum, while Grade B and C players will earn INR 30 lakhs and INR 10 lakhs, respectively. 19 players are part of this list.
The trio of T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, opener Smriti Mandhana and leg spinner Poonam Yadav fall under Grade A. Veterans Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, and rising star Shafali Verma are under Grade B. Veda Krishnamurthy and Ekta Bisht have notably missed out on getting a contract this year.
Grade A contracts: Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Poonam Yadav.
Grade B contracts: Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shafali Verma. Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia, and Jemimah Rodrigues.
Grade C contracts: Mansi Joshi, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, Priya Punia, and Richa Ghosh.
There is a big disparity between the wages of men and women’s cricketers. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who are in the top bracket of Men’s cricket, take home INR 7 crores annually.
Cricket fans across the country were not impressed by the wage difference. Here is what some of them had to say:
India superstar Smriti Mandhana though, has a different take on the subject. She believes that since men’s cricket brings in more revenue and viewership, it is not fair for women to demand a similar paycheque.
“We need to understand that the revenue which we get is through men’s cricket. The day women’s cricket starts getting revenue, I will be the first person to say that we need the same thing. But right now, we can’t say that. I don’t think any of the teammates are thinking about this gap because the only focus right now is to win matches for India, get the crowd coming in, get the revenue. That is the thing which we are aiming for and if that happens, all other things are going to fall in place,” Smriti said.
It is a matter of debate whether the men and women demand the same wages, but nobody can deny the growth in Women’s cricket in the past few years.
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