London [UK], October 29 (ANI): A day after BCCI announced its landmark decision to introduce equal match fees for male and female cricketers, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced a 3.5 million increase in funding for the women’s regional game to run until the end of 2024 on Friday.
The increase in funding will result in more professional women’s athletes, a larger compensation pool, and higher average salaries.
From November 1, 2022, there will be seven professional players funded by the ECB in each region, and by February 1, 2023, there will be ten professional players funded in each region.
In addition to the England Women’s Centrally Committed players, there will be an additional 80 ECB-funded professional women’s domestic cricket players in 2023, doubling the initial 40 players contracted in 2020, an ECB statement said.
The average salary for a woman playing regional cricket will be £25,000 as of February 1 thanks to an increase in the salary pot per side to £250,000.
Additionally, employee salaries and capacity have increased with a concentration on the scientific and medical provisions for each region.
ECB Interim Chief Executive Officer Clare Connor said, “Everyone within cricket should be immensely proud of the game-changing progress of professional women’s domestic cricket since the implementation of the Transform Women’s and Girls’ Cricket Action Plan began in 2020.”
“The significant increase in funding we are announcing today will not only continue to drive the performance standards of our domestic players across England and Wales, giving the women’s game more strength in depth, but critically we are creating a more equitable future for women and girls in our sport. Young girls have a clearer pathway in cricket than ever before, and the belief that they too can aspire to be professional cricketers.
“As of February, there will be nearly 100 professional female cricketers in England and Wales. There were fewer than 20 before we launched the new regional structure in 2020.
“We’re indebted to the hard work of everyone the players, support staff and the administrators who have backed the vision and driven this change – and to the PCA, for the important role, they’ve played in supporting this progression with their continued collaboration.
“Combined with the dramatic impact of The Hundred, we are seeing the benefits of professionalisation and collaborative ways of working and cricket is thriving as a result,” he added. (ANI)
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