ECB £800K Boost: Women's Hundred Salaries Soar | Sportsmonks

ECB £800K Boost: Women’s Hundred Salaries Soar


The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will inject an extra £800,000 into the salaries of women participating in the 2024 edition of The Hundred, with the aim of attracting top overseas players and narrowing the gender pay gap in the tournament. The additional investment will result in a 40% increase in the salary cap for each of the eight women’s squads, rising from £250,000 to £350,000. The top three salary bands will see a 60% increase, with the two highest earners in each squad set to receive £50,000, up from £31,250 in 2023 and £15,000 in 2021.

The move is seen as an effort to entice leading international players who opted out of The Hundred last summer, such as Australians Ash Gardner and Tahlia McGrath. While the salaries offered in The Hundred are lower than those in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India, the ECB hopes the increased investment will attract top talents, particularly with the Women’s Future Tours Programme unclear for most full-member teams during The Hundred’s window.

The Women’s Future Tours Programme is finalized for all full-member teams except Ireland and Sri Lanka during The Hundred’s window this year. The tournament will run from late July to late August, overlapping with England men’s third Test against West Indies and the final week of Major League Cricket (MLC). Teams participating in The Hundred are concerned that overseas players might opt to stay in the Caribbean for MLC, as the men’s T20 World Cup will take place in June in the Caribbean and the United States.

The injection of funds into women’s salaries is also intended to address the gender pay gap in The Hundred, with women’s players earning an average of 35% of their male counterparts, an improvement from 25% in 2023. The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) report, released last summer, called for equal pay in The Hundred by 2025, although the ECB has not formally committed to that recommendation.

In contrast to the women’s salaries, the men’s salaries in The Hundred will remain at the same level as in 2023. The top salary band will be £125,000, and the salary cap will be £1 million per squad. Despite the tournament’s initial struggle to attract star players, the men’s Hundred salary structure remains significantly lower than those offered in Major League Cricket.

The ECB is consulting with counties to determine the future of The Hundred, and there is growing consensus that the tournament will be expanded to nine or ten teams in 2025. One proposal suggests that counties would be given equity stakes in the Hundred teams that play at their venues, which could later be sold to private investors.

The investment in women’s salaries in The Hundred highlights the importance of the tournament’s dual-gender format to its overall success. The Hundred will maintain its double-header format in 2024, with men’s and women’s fixtures played back-to-back at the same venues. Teams are expected to make retention offers to players from their 2023 squads, and the drafts are scheduled to take place in March, with fixture announcements anticipated next week.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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