Australia’s best female cricketers look set to see their pay-packet skyrocket after Cricket Australia today publicly tabled a historic five-year offer to the Australian Cricketers’ Association.
Australia’s professional women’s cricketers are set to be included in the new Memorandum of Understanding between CA and the ACA for the first time, with the average salary of both international and domestic female players set to jump by 125 per cent
The average annual salary of Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars players is set to jump from $79,000 to $179,000 under the new proposal, with that figure expected to reach $210,000 by 2021.
The average salary of female domestic players will also more than double, from $22,000 to $52,000 for Women’s National Cricket League and Rebel Women’s Big Bash League-contracted players.
Prizemoney for female domestic tournament will be introduced for the first time under the offer, with CA proposing the winners of the WNCL to receive $258,000 and the WBBL champions to get $309,000.
Match fees for domestic one-day games will be standardised, with female players set to earn the same amount for a WNCL game as a male player will for a Matador BBQs One-Day Cup match.
Australia’s male players also look set to benefit from the yet-to-be-agreed deal, with the average annual retainer for international men expected to increase to $816,000 by 2021.
Including KFC Big Bash League contracts, match fees and performance bonuses, that figure is expected to reach $1.45m by the conclusion of this MOU.
Domestic male players will also have their annual income increased by nearly a fifth, with their average salary to reach $235,000, up from $199,000 for the current financial year.
“We are pleased that the Australian Cricketers Association agrees with us that women, for the first time, should be part of the MOU, and we have proposed a financial model that has gender equity at its heart,” said CA chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement.
CA and the ACA have clashed on several fronts during negotiations over this MOU, with the current deal expiring on June 30.
The major disagreement relates to CA's desire to scrap the fixed-revenue payment model that has been in place for 20 years.
But Sutherland suggests the current pay system is in need of a re-think.
“We have placed the emphasis on increasing the guaranteed amount that the men will receive, rather than rely on any projected increase in revenue,” Mr Sutherland said in a statement.
“We understand that the ACA prefers the status quo, but CA believes that the model devised in the 1990s, which is based on a fixed percentage of revenue, has served its intended purpose – to make Australia’s cricketers some of the best paid sportspeople in the country.
“It was a means to an end, not something that has to hold us back from providing players with financial certainty, a fair deal for all players including women, and the flexibility to invest in the grassroots of the game.
“This is a landmark agreement. We are now looking forward to sitting down with the ACA to work through the details and we are confident we will be able to announce a completed agreement before June 30.
“We can then look forward to an Ashes summer, when both our women and men will be taking on England.”
The ACA is yet to publicly respond to the offer.