The ECB has found itself embroiled in a gender pay dispute just days before the launch of its new flagship competition The Hundred.
The Telegraph have reported many of the female players set to compete at The Hundred are disappointed at a failure from cricket’s governing body to support
part-time players unable to work their regular jobs during the tournament.
The Hundred has continuously stressed its desire to provide an equal platform for the men and women’s games. The first match of the competition is a stand-alone women’s fixture between the Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals, while prize money will also be the same for both games.
But despite the attempt to level the playing field, player salaries are causing issues. Female players are set to earn between £3,600 and £15,000 across five weeks, compared to the men who will receive anything from £24,000 to £100,000.
At least five players in every women’s team are not full-time professionals and work other jobs additionally to playing cricket. Many have been put in precarious situations by the Covid-safe risk assessments, which are being carried out to assess whether players can leave their respective team environments.
According to the Telegraph, some players have been forced to decide whether to take annual leave, and at least one wavered between participating in The Hundred and quitting their job.
Frustration has been further heightened by the revelation that 11 Australian players scheduled to play in the tournament were offered £10,000 as a ‘disturbance fee,’ in addition to their salaries.
After every Australian withdrew from the competition, players enquired as to whether these funds would be put towards those on the lower pay brackets, but are understood to have never heard back.
Manchester Originals bowler Kate Cross told GiveMeSport Women last month that for the ECB to show they are committed to gender equality then “actions speak louder than words.”
Echoing this same sentiment, Cross told Telegraph Sport how the ECB should act now and make sure playing cricket is worth it for all those who compete.
"There are only five domestically-contracted girls earning a good wage now, and the Covid situation is not helping because you’ve got some girls who are having to pull out of work now, who are probably on the lower end of the money payments [for The Hundred].
“There’s no subsidy for them, as they are not allowed to go out of the environment and work. So the ECB probably needs to address that. If they want to move forward, even more so, I think that’s where they’re probably going to need to start investing.
“The situation that came out of the fact that the [Australian women were no longer being offered the overseas disturbance fee] was, can the money that is now not being used, be used to top up those lowest contracted girls? And I don’t know, because I didn’t get an answer.”News Now - Sport News