Cricket

Women’s Cricket World Cup: $ 9 million pay gap revealed, Rachael Haynes reacts

Women's Cricket World Cup: $ 9 million pay gap revealed, Rachael Haynes reacts

Cricket has made progress towards gender equity over the past decade, but the disparity between male and female athletes remains stark.

Last week, the United States women’s national soccer team reached a landmark agreement with its governing body on equal pay, promising athletes A$33.2 million, mostly in back pay.

As part of the eight-figure settlement, US Soccer has pledged to equalize prize money between the men’s and women’s national teams in all competitions, including World Cups.

A few days earlier, the International Cricket Council confirmed that the prize money for the upcoming Women’s World Cup will be $9 million lower than the corresponding men’s competition.

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Although cricket has made its own strides towards gender equity in recent years, the disparity between male and female athletes remains stark.

This month’s Women’s World Cup prize pool will be 75% bigger than the previous tournament, with $4.8 million up for grabs at the New Zealand-based tournament.

However, that sum is only a fraction of the total prize money awarded at the corresponding men’s event, with $13.8 million given away at the 2019 Men’s World Cup.

“That kind of stuff is really important in terms of the message he sends out to the wider community,” said Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes. news.com.au.

“Even last week we saw the American football team win their fight for pay equity in their sport, so I think there’s a lot of substance around that, and in particular the governing bodies need to s ensure there is gender equity in their sport.

“I would certainly suspect that over time we would see more parity in prize pools and salaries.”

Earlier this summer, Cricket Australia announced a $1.2 million injection to raise the base salary of female athletes who hold contracts with the WBBL and WNCL to over $65,000.

But that’s still considerably lower than the average retainer of $198,000 received by male players competing in all formats nationally.

Australian cricketers are among the highest paid female athletes in the country, but the gender pay gap is still a concern.

“The most important thing for Australian cricket is to get our domestic players to the point where they can call themselves full time,” Haynes said. “This is the next frontier for domestic cricket and cricket in general in Australia.

“I’m sure there are discussions going on behind the scenes, and how we can close those gaps and make sure we achieve gender equity.”

The ‘scar tissues’ of 2017 have healed

Australia were touted as favorites ahead of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, and rightly so.

With Meg Lanning, Alex Blackwell and Ellyse Perry among their arsenal, the Australians qualified for knockouts before Indian slugger Harmanpreet Kaur landed a decisive blow in the must-win semi-final.

Kaur brought up her half-century against Australia on 64 deliveries – she then hit 120 runs from her after 51 balls into the crease.

It was a clean ball masterclass, and the Aussies missed 36 points in the chase. England were crowned champions after beating India in the decider by nine points.

Five years later, Australia seeks redemption in New Zealand.

The 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup, postponed for 12 months due to Covid-19, kicks off this week across Tasmania, with Australia once again leading the way to lift the coveted trophy.

Haynes, who is about to embark on his third World Cup campaign, is adamant the scars from 2017 are well and truly healed.

“We kind of evolved from that point as a band,” she said. “It was obviously very disappointing at the time.

“The team is also very different from what it was in 2017. There are a lot of new faces. The scar tissue from this tournament is not really there, because there is just a freshness in the group.

Australia’s ODI record since the 2017 World Cup is nothing short of remarkable – 31 wins from 33 matches, with just two losses.

The historic purple patch was highlighted by a record 26 game unbeaten streak from March 2018 to September 2021.

The Aussies are also coming off a comprehensive Ashes triumph which included three consecutive ODI wins over England.

But Haynes knows those numbers and records become obsolete once the tournament kicks off.

“We’ve played some really good cricket over the past couple of years, but when you’re in tournaments it doesn’t matter much because you have to keep winning whatever game is ahead of you,” she said.

“We have seen very good cricket from all countries over the past two years and England are obviously the defending champions as well. From our point of view, we pursue them.

“Hopefully we can be there on the business side.”

Boys under 12 to World Cup glory

Like many of her teammates, Haynes’ family introduced her to cricket. Growing up in Melbourne, the left-hander fell in love with the game as she honed her craft in the garden and on the streets.

“It was something we always did that brought us together,” Haynes recalled.

“We always met in the garden playing cricket together. Sometimes it got a little more competitive than necessary. »

When a neighbor spotted Haynes batting in the street, they invited her to join the North Balwyn Cricket Club that summer.

“The rest is history, so to speak,” she said with a laugh.

Haynes started her cricketing journey playing for North Balwyn CC’s men’s under-12 side, and the opposition were sometimes surprised when she waltzed down the middle.

“I was one of the only girls playing in the competition at the time,” she explained. “When I would go out at bat, it kind of pulled the other teams back a bit, just to clear up if I was a girl.

“I was a bit worried about whether I would be welcomed into the team and whether I would have friends.

“But once I started training and playing alongside them, the boys I played with were great, they were very welcoming.”

Haynes progressed through the Victorian lanes program before finally making her international debut in 2009. She scored a chic 98 on her Test debut against England and in the 13 years since then has recorded 3264 runs international, 22 fifties, five World Cup titles and four Ashes triumphs.

Female social smash

After leading the Sydney Thunder to their second Women’s Big Bash League title of 2020, Haynes missed last summer’s campaign due to border restrictions and quarantine requirements.

Haynes and partner Leah Poulton had recently welcomed their first child Hugo, and the 35-year-old planned to skip the WBBL opening matches in Tasmania while on parental leave.

But the border closures made it nearly impossible for Haynes to join her Thunder teammates for the second half of the T20 tournament.

During her long break from professional cricket, Haynes traveled to the northern beaches and took part in the Female social smasha Cricket Australia initiative designed for women of all ages and abilities.

While traditional forms of cricket can be difficult for new entrants, Social Smash focuses solely on engagement and social connection.

Each Social Smash game is played with a shorter pitch and limit; a softball is used and no protective equipment is required. There are no outs and anyone can bat and bowl.

It draws on the fundamentals of backyard cricket, where Haynes started his own journey to the Australian national team.

“What really touched me was that it was really an extension of the community,” she said. “It was just about people trying and actually enjoying what they were doing.

“It wasn’t about having all the new gear or needing a particular uniform or anything like that. You can literally get off the street and play.

“If cricket can continue to focus on these things and provide different opportunities for people to participate, then we could see the game continue to develop in different ways, rather than just traditional formats.”

Australia take on defending champions England in their opening match of the Women’s Cricket World Cup, with the first ball scheduled for 12pm AEDT on Saturday.

The team’s preparations hit a snag on Tuesday when New Zealand all-rounder Sophie Devine plundered 161 of 117 unbeaten balls to embarrass Australia’s world-class bowling attack.

It was a rare beating for the Australians, but Haynes was unconcerned with the nine-wicket defeat.

“It was good for our bowling group to be under pressure so we have some good lessons to take from today,” she told reporters at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Christchurch.

“It’s a good thing to be under pressure, especially in a practice match. Sometimes you really have to work things out in training.

“That’s the beauty of practice games.”

Australia Women’s World Cup schedule

5 March v England, Seddon Park, Hamilton, 12pm AEDT

March 8 v Pakistan, Bay Oval, Tauranga, 12pm AEDT

March 13 vs New Zealand, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8:00 a.m. AEDT

March 15 vs West Indies, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8:00 a.m. AEDT

19 March v India, Eden Park, Auckland, 12pm AEDT

March 22 vs South Africa, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8:00 a.m. AEDT

March 25 vs Bangladesh, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8:00 a.m. AEDT