The Much Awaited Red Letter Day!

  • Nov 08 2022
    27 days

A year back I had written about the journey the women cricketers have embarked upon since 1745. Must say it took almost over two centuries and a half to be recognised as players who deserved equal pay. As a woman working with technology that predominantly involves sports, 27th October 2022 has been a hallelujah for Indian women cricketers who have finally proved their mettle with the new equity pay policy by BCCI. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur Bhullar, skipper of the Indian Women’s cricket team thanked Jay Shah, the honorary secretary of BCCI by tweeting, “Truly a red letter day for Women’s Cricket in India with pay parity announced for women and men.” Many male counterparts joined in congratulating the BCCI for paving way for gender equality.  

Match fees

FORMATWOMENMEN
ExistingRevised
TestRs. 2.5 lakhRs. 15 lakhRs. 15 lakh
One-day InternationalRs. 1 lakhRs. 6 lakhRs. 6 lakh
T20 InternationalRs. 1 lakhRs. 3 lakhRs. 3 lakh

 

Would it also impact the annual retainer for the women in the near future, the number of matches, viewership, and sponsor games with this move? I reckon it could. Between the year 2023-2027, the men in blue are due to 141 matches as the FTP, as opposed to the women, who play 75 matches between 2022- 2025. [LINK 1]  [LINK 2]

Back in the day, the women in blue would fund their own expenses and share kits despite making national appearances for their country. Equal pay has refined the status of women in cricket but the earnings are not singularly dependent on the pay hike; it is a mix of the contract fees, match fees, prize money and a predetermined percentage of the BCCI’s gross annual revenue. The central contract fees are driven based on the categories of players 

Contract for 2021-2022

CATEGORYMENWOMEN
A+Rs 7 Crore
ARs 5 CroreRs 50 lakh
BRs 3 CroreRs 30 lakh
CRs 1 CroreRs 10 lakh

 

As a woman who lends innovative technology to sports, I was in my own way proud to be a part of this change as one cannot deny that today viewership, visibility and the media traction a sport garners, influences the commercials through ticketing, broadcast rights, sponsorship deals and more for the industry as a whole. A quick search will show that the March ICC Women’s T20 final had 1.78 billion viewing minutes (India), which was 59 times more than the 2018 event. I am hopeful that this monumental move will trigger a revolution for other sports throughout the world. 

The advertisement by Boost came to mind where MS Dhoni is impressed by a young girl’s energy, and grit and asks her to meet him at the cricket ground for more opportunities. Breaking stereotypes is key to gaining traction in a sport. Adidas has recently started a campaign around gender equality involving women athletes and yoga practitioners to empower and support women. A Twitter spokesperson said, “Want to make an impact? Feature women in your advertising. Our survey found that women in sports ads are perceived as 148% more empowering than the sports ads with men as the main protagonist”.

Every time a woman in sports is discovered, she inspires another woman with the talent to take her dream forward. So far, lack of exposure, low funding and sporting protocols have stifled many. But today there is hope. This may just be a small drop in the ocean and we are still far removed from the equality women in sports deserve, the anticipation that this might be the harbinger of the much-needed change is palpable. The need of the hour is to invest and encourage women in sports for traction and visibility to help them reach their rightful position. [LINK]