Badal Pareek ∙ Oct 27 2022, 1:07 PM

BCCI announce pay equity: Is it justified?

image-l9r24io9India Women in action (Source: Twitter)

There has been talk of paying women cricketers the same amount of money that is currently being paid to male cricketers across the globe. While some cricketing boards have decided to agree to it but does it make sense? Before I put my point across, let's have a brief idea of what has taken place.

Earlier in the year New Zealand Cricket decided to award men and women cricketers the same match fee, the BCCI has now decided to follow in the same footsteps.

As per the revised match fees for India Men & Women cricketers, the players will receive a sum of 15 Lakhs for Tests, 6 Lakhs for ODIs and 3 Lakhs for T20Is.

The match fee has always been a subjective matter across the globe, with the boards paying their players on the basis of what they earn. Since every board has a pay scheme for their male cricketers based on their earnings the same should apply for the female cricketers, don't you think?

Women's cricket is on the rise, the interest in their game has increased in the past few years which suggests that they deserve a pay rise but equal pay as compared to men should not be the marker.

It is great that boards like New Zealand Cricket and BCCI have decided to pay them equal match fees because they can afford it. But, all boards can't and they should not be forced into it. The payment in every sport irrespective of the gender should be based on the revenue they generate.

It is common knowledge that the revenue from women's cricket is substantially lower than that of men's, so equal pay just for the sake of taking a stand for equality is probably a PR stunt.

image-l9r2xcskIndia Women win the Asia Cup (Source: Twitter)

The situation is pretty similar across various sports. Just to give you a clearer idea, we can look at how the male and female footballers are valued across the globe. The most expensive female footballer Keira Walsh cost Barcelona £ 350,000, on the other hand, PSG had to shell out a whopping sum of £ 198,000,000 for Neymar. 

This further highlights the fact that financial incentives should be based on the value, and equality has nothing to do with it.

The debate for equality has gone on forever in all types of sports but those with logical mind will always agree that pay should be based on revenue generated, global interest and appeal. Nothing else should matter. 

A couple of years ago, India Women's star Smriti Mandhana said:

“We need to understand that the revenue we get is through men’s cricket. The day women’s cricket starts earning revenue, I will be the first person to say that we need the same thing. But right now, we can’t say that."

Mandhana was spot on back then. 

While there is no doubt that Women's cricket is on the up and India are very much at the forefront of it. They have won the Asia Cup recently and the Women in Blue handed a hiding to England Women in their own backyard. The players deserve a salary hike, but to call for equal pay is to venture in the realms of bias. 

To conclude, let us look at what some of the fans have to say on social media. 

Also Read: The Great War: It took blood, sweat and tears for women’s cricket to get here