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More to cricket's pay fight than just pay

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) is hoping to improve both pay and conditions for female players in a landmark Memorandum of Understanding.

More to cricket's pay fight than just pay

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) is hoping to improve both pay and conditions for female players in a landmark Memorandum of Understanding.

The revenue-sharing model has been at the centre of a protracted impasse between Cricket Australia and the players' union, but it is only a piece of the pay-talk puzzle for women.

It is a time of unprecedented growth for women's cricket, something that will be reflected in a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) should Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) eventually come to terms.



For the first time ever, both sexes are set to be covered by the same MoU.


CA offered to increase average female player payments by 125 per cent; suggesting the average wage of internationals would immediately rise to $179,000. Domestic players were set to pocket an average of $52,000.

The final figures in any deal could be different but the industry-wide expectation is that a major pay rise is coming for women.

Former Southern Stars captain Jodie Fields joined ACA in a newly created position as manager of female cricket operations and membership in 2015.

Fields told AAP that CA's offer is "a positive step in the right direction".

"But at the moment there's a long way to go," Fields added.

"We need to make sure that even if something like renumeration is increased, that it increases alongside improved terms and conditions.

"So what does their high-performance environment look like? Is it consistent across states? How are they supported from a welfare perspective? How are they supported to work, study and play cricket?

"Things like health insurance, how they're supported through injury, visitor periods and accommodation standards.

"That all matters to players. They're the small wins you get when you bring female players into the security of a MoU."

Fields knows the issues well.

The wicketkeeper played more than 100 games for Australia and debuted for Queensland as a teenager more than 16 years ago, when small wins meant things like domestic players not having to pay for their own accommodation and flights.

"It's obviously improved massively since ... but there's always improvements to be made and it'd be nice to see more equity across male and female cricket in terms of what's provided," Fields said.

The ACA has set up a hardship fund for female cricketers to access if they're out of contract next month. Fields declared all players, no matter their sex or salary, are united in their push for a revenue-sharing model.

Fields is confident the saga will not distract Meg Lanning's potentially out-of-contract team from their upcoming World Cup defence. CA has paid the squad in advance of the tournament that runs until July 23.

"We're here to do a job on behalf of them," Fields said.

"We're obviously always in touch with the group and keeping them updated. They're very confident that we've got their best interests at heart.

"Everybody would obviously like to be done by June 30 but we want to make sure it's done under the right conditions."


AAP




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