BCCI, in a long due but welcome move, announced central contracts for women cricket players in the country. The contracts will give a sense of job security to the players and will also help them focus more on their performance.
Despite being the most followed sport in India, cricket has always been more favourable towards male players while women’s cricket has had to struggle at every step.
But things seem to be changing now as the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) announced central contracts for women players on Sunday. The much awaited decision came 11 years after the system was introduced for their male counterparts.
What are central contracts?
Central contracts give a minimum pay assurance to the players so that they can concentrate on their performance. Central contracts also help a player in case he/she is injured. BCCI has divided its centrally contracted players into three categories — Group A, Group B and Group C. The players are graded according to how valuable they are to the team – their performance in recent games and their past record. Currently, the grades follow the following pay structure for male players:
Grade A – Rs. 1 crore per annum
Grade B – Rs. 50 lakh per annum
Grade C – Rs. 25 lakh per annum
Why are these contracts good for women’s cricket?
Newly elected BCCI President Shashank Manohar announced the decision with a view to encouraging more young girls to take up the sport. The decision was long overdue since women cricketers of most Test playing nations already get contracts.
The new step will give a sense of job security to the female players like it has to their male counterparts.
The amount of money the women will receive through the contracts is yet to be disclosed.
Former India captain Dian Edulji welcomed the decision and added that a lot more needs to be done for women’s cricket in the country. She also demanded a one-time benefit scheme for former cricketers like herself.
This type of benefit has been given to some male players who retired after playing a specific number of domestic and international games before 2003/04.
Edulji also asked BCCI to ensure that the women’s T20 matches, which will be held in India in 2016, are organised well.
Women cricket players are seeing their efforts for the country being appreciated after a long time and we hope to see many more girls take up the sport now.