CA to top up women's T20 prize money

Australia's women's national team has been dominant in the shorter versions of cricket recently.
Australia's women's national team has been dominant in the shorter versions of cricket recently.

Cricket Australia (CA) will top up any prize money won by the Australian women's cricket team at next year's T20 World Cup to ensure parity with the men's equivalent winnings.

The ICC has increased the prize money pool for the 2020 women's World Cup by 320 per cent on the 2018 tournament.

The move is part of an overall increase in prize money for women's events, which the ICC said followed "a rise in the revenue generated by the sport" - with a proportion of that revenue assigned to prize money.

"We have already stated our long-term commitment to reach parity across men's and women's cricket as part of a broader plan to grow and develop the women's game," ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said in a statement.

The winners of the women's tournament will receive $US1 million ($1.475m), with the runners-up to take home $US500,000 ($737,500) - but those figures still fall short of what the men received in the the 2016 T20 World Cup prize pool.

The overall prize pool for that tournament was $US5.6m, with champions the West Indies taking home $US1.6m.

As a result, CA will make up any of the shortfall for the Australian women's team to ensure they would be compensated as handsomely as their male counterparts.

For example, if Australia win the tournament, CA would top up the $US1m winners' prize money with a further $US600,000 ($885,000) to ensure parity.

"We want to continue our commitment to equality by ensuring that any prize money earned by the Australian women's team in the T20 World Cup is the same as what is on offer in the men's side of the tournament," Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said.

"This will include matching the prize money for the final, semi-finals, or group stage."

Roberts said while the ICC's decision to improve women's prize money was a positive step, CA's move continued to drive the figure towards parity in the long term.

"I commend the ICC's commitment and while there is no doubt we are starting to see financial progress for our talented cricketers, we still have a way to go and CA will continue to play a role in driving equality for our athletes," he said.

All Australian players receive the same base pay rate, regardless of gender, after the negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Cricketers' Association in 2017.

The MoU saw payments for elite female cricketers increase from $7.5m over the previous five-year period to $55 million over the term of the current collective bargaining agreement, which is in place until 2023.

Australian Associated Press