The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has increased match fees for the women’s team to bring them in line with the men’s team, the governing body said, on the back of record attendances and viewing figures for the Women’s Ashes played over June and July.
The increase announced on Wednesday takes effect immediately, starting with the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka starting on Thursday.
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The move towards abolishing the pay gap between male and female players in England had already been recommended in a report by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, which was published two months ago and highlighted deep-rooted discrimination in the English game.
That report said the match fees for England’s women players was 25 percent of the men’s for white-ball matches and 15 percent for test matches.
A total of 110,00 people came to watch the Women’s Ashes series between England and Australia, with crowds of about 20,000 at several of the limited overs matches. More than 23,000 tickets were sold for the five days of the test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
Broadcast viewing figures of 5.3 million were double those in 2019.
“We are currently considering all the recommendations made by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, but equalising match fees is one immediate step we are pleased to make now,” ECB chief executive Richard Gould said.
“We all want cricket to be the team sport of choice for female athletes … However, we know there is still much further to go as we ultimately strive for equality across the game.”
England women’s captain Heather Knight said it was “fantastic” to see equal match fees being paid.
“I’m sure this will make cricket an increasingly attractive sport to girls and young women as we continue to grow the game,” she said.
The International Cricket Council said in July that men’s and women’s teams will receive equal prize money at cricket’s biggest international tournaments with immediate effect.