As the women’s game continues to grow, so does issue of the pay gap between the men and women in the sport. Former New Zealand international turned radio commentator Peter McGlashan, called on New Zealand Cricket to address this problem promptly. NZC replied positively to this, vowing to review the pay gap.
NZC head of professional cricket and integrity, Andy Rogers, agreed McGlashan’s claimed had weight and said this issue would be addressed in the mid-year review, asserting, “We know it’s an issue and we are working on it.”
The extent of the disparity between the money in the men’s game, compared to the women’s game is epitomized in the current season of the Super Smash.
Following a thrilling final of the women’s edition of the tournament, that went down to the last ball, it was revealed that while the winners of the men’s edition will win $80,000, the women received no prizemoney. In fact, they were only paid $55 for meals during away games.
This year’s Super Smash saw the women play in double-headers, with the men, to spike interest in the sport. The men’s and women’s matches were played at the same venue, for a greater live audience, as well as broadcasted live on television to get in all the homes.
These efforts did indeed accomplish what they had set out to, but the fact remains that the women’s game is still largely amateur, with only 15 players being offered a national contract- those who play for the White Ferns. These players get an annual salary between $21 000 and $35 000, along with match fees of $310 and $420 for T20’s and ODI’s respectively.
Rogers acknowledged the amateur nature of the women’s game, saying, “Women’s domestic cricket has historically been an amateur competition and it continues to be so.”
With the Memorandum of Understanding for the White Ferns expiring on July 31, addressing the pay gap problem will be a priority of NZC, according to Rogers, though Rogers claims he hasn’t received an complaints, by the players, on the issue yet.
“I’ve never had anyone come to me directly and say ‘why aren’t we being paid?’.”
He further added, “We could have waited another 12 months to launch the women’s Super Smash and it would have aligned with our pay discussion. We could have made a decision to invest … but in the end we said ‘hang on, we’ve got to do this in a staged process. We’ve got to do this in a methodical and thought-through process’. It’s not just about paying people – it’s about making sure they are playing in a first class environment.”
There were reports that Northern Districts were going to take a huge step forward this season, by paying both their teams an equal match fee of $575. However, this initiative never came to fruition. It is believed to have been stopped by NZC, due to it being unsustainable and it possibly sabatoging future negotiations.
“Peter is in a position where he is a member of Northern Districts cricket…he’s a deep thinker in the game and had put out there a whole lot of interesting thought-provoking comments,” Rogers commented on McGlashan.
“We haven’t made a snap decision not to pay players – we are in fact rolling out a staged development for women’s cricket and we don’t want to jump to any conclusion where if you pay men X you have to pay women Y. There’s a whole lot of work to be done around that first,” he concluded.