Australia's leading female cricketers will be the best paid of any women's team sport in the country after Cricket Australia announced significant pay rises.
Many Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars players, who were runners-up in the recently-concluded ICC World T20 in India, will now be able to earn in excess of $100,000 a year.
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CA will increase its female player payment pool from $2.36 million to $4.23 million, with maximum retainers for the Southern Stars rising from $49,000 to $65,000.
When combined with increased maximum retainers for the Women's Big Bash League of $15,000 the base rate for Australia's best female players rises to $80,000, while Southern Stars match payments and tour fees will ensure earnings exceed six figures.
Minimum retainers have more than doubled, rising from $19,000 to $40,000 for the Southern Stars and $3,000 to $7,000 for the WBBL.
With Women's National Cricket League payments up from $7000 to $11,000, Australia's best domestic female cricketers will earn $26,000 a season.
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In addition to substantially increased pay, Cricket Australia, in consultation with the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) is providing elite female players with: improved travel and accommodation benefits; an updated pregnancy policy (reached in consultation with female players); restrictions on weekday hours of domestic team training to support female players working or studying; and reduced commercial restrictions for WNCL and WBBL players in relation to major sponsors.
The ACA has also committed $500,000 over two years to cover private health insurance costs for female players.
"Cricket is a sport for all Australians and Cricket Australia will continue to invest heavily in the women's game in the coming years," said CA CEO James Sutherland.
"We are determined to make cricket the sport of choice for women in Australia.
"We have worked constructively with the Australian Cricketers' Association to reach this point and will continue to do so in our ongoing efforts to improve wages and workplace conditions for all elite female cricketers.
"The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars have achieved great success on the world stage, including making it through to the recent final of the ICC World T20 in India, and are great role models for the next generation of Australia's aspiring female cricketers.
"The Women's Big Bash League has created a revolution with outstanding ratings that make it the most popular women's team sport in the country.
"Of the more than 1.2 million people of all ages currently playing cricket in Australia almost a quarter of them are women and girls.
"That number continues to grow rapidly and we will continue to support females playing the game from backyard to baggy green."
CA also announced its list of female contracted players for 2016-17.
"This core group of players have performed incredibly well in recent times, including securing the Women's Ashes in the UK last year, and making it through to the final of the recent ICC World T20 in India," said Chairman of the National Women’s Selection Panel, Shawn Flegler.
"While there is a lot of hard work ahead to maintain those high levels of performance, we believe this group has the talent and character to do just that."
CA Female Contracted Players for 2016-17: Kristen Beams (Vic), Alex Blackwell (NSW), Nicole Bolton (WA), Lauren Cheatle (NSW) Sarah Coyte (SA), Rene Farrell (NSW), Holly Ferling (Qld), Grace Harris (Qld), Alyssa Healy (NSW), Jess Jonassen (Qld), Meg Lanning (Vic), Beth Mooney (Qld), Erin Osborne (ACT), Ellyse Perry (NSW), Megan Schutt (SA), Elyse Villani (WA).