Wednesday, July 17, 2024

ECB: England Women’s match fees equalised with Men’s after sensational Ashes series grows profile further

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Photo Credit: ECB

Following record-breaking crowds of 110,000 at this summer’s Metro Bank Women’s Ashes series, the ECB today announces it is increasing match fees for England Women to bring them in line with England Men’s match fees.

England set new women’s international attendance records at Edgbaston, the Kia Oval and Lord’s, and sold out matches at Taunton, Bristol and Hampshire in their series against Australia. England Women’s captain, Heather Knight, proclaimed the series as “the best there’s ever been in the history of the women’s game”.

The increase takes effect immediately, beginning with this week’s Vitality IT20 series against Sri Lanka.

The additional investment follows increases to domestic salary pots this year and salaries for women’s players in The Hundred more than doubling last year. With increased earning opportunities in competitions around the world, the sport currently offers some of the best earning opportunities among female team sports.

Richard Gould, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said:

“This summer’s thrilling Metro Bank Women’s Ashes series demonstrated how women’s cricket is continuing to grow at pace in this country, with record attendances and TV viewing. Growing the women’s and girls’ game is a key priority for us, and in recent years we have considerably increased investment both in building a domestic women’s structure to produce the players of the future, and in increasing player rewards.

“In the years ahead, we will continue to invest ahead of revenues. We are currently considering all the recommendations made by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, but equalising match fees is one immediate step we are pleased to make now. We all want cricket to be the team sport of choice for female athletes, and with the investments we are making – and increasingly lucrative opportunities around the world – we are seeing cricketers become some of the highest earning female athletes in UK team sports. However, we know there is still much further to go as we ultimately strive for equality across the game.

“As we continue to grow women’s cricket, we will continue to focus on making considered investments that stretch far-and-wide across the women’s cricket structures, delivering a thriving, profitable and future-proofed game.”

Heather Knight, England Women’s captain, said:

“It’s really important that we continue to drive the women’s game forward and it’s fantastic to see equal match fees for England Women and England Men.

“The direction of travel for the women’s game has always been the most important thing, creating a sustainable product that people want to watch and play, and I’m sure this will make cricket an increasingly attractive sport to girls and young women as we continue to grow the game.

“I would also like to thank the PCA and England Women’s Player Partnership for their support in representing the players and the growth of the professional game.”

NOTES:

This summer’s Metro Bank Women’s Ashes smashed all previous records, with the series promoted alongside the Men’s LV= Insurance Ashes through the Ashes, Two Ashes campaign:

  • 110,000 attended the Metro Bank Women’s Ashes series (4.5x the number in 2019)
  • Broadcast reach at 5.3million was double the 2019 viewership
  • 47million video views
  • Edgbaston’s attendance of 19,527 for the Vitality IT20 during the Ashes was a record crowd for a home England Women bilateral fixture, surpassed four days later by 20,328 at The Kia Oval, and then again by 21,610 at Lord’s
  • Trent Bridge broke new ground for a women’s Test match in England with 23,207 tickets sold over the five days
  • And the We Got Game ODI series was the first England Women’s series to completely sell out (Hampshire, Bristol and Taunton)

The ECB has invested significantly in transforming women’s and girls’ cricket and growing the professional game in recent years, including:

  • There are currently 80 ECB-funded professional women’s domestic cricketers, double the 40 initially contracted in 2020. This is in addition to the 18 England Women’s Centrally Contracted players.
  • Last year we announced a £3.5m increase in funding for the women’s regional game to run until the end of 2024 which has financed the increase in the number of professional women’s players, as well as growing the salary pot and the average salary.
  • The salary pot per team was increased to £250,000, meaning the average salary for a women’s regional cricketer will be £25,000. There has also been an increase in staffing salaries and capacity, with a focus on the science and medicine provision at each region.
  • The Hundred has offered additional opportunities for players to be paid since its launch in 2021. Women’s salaries were more than doubled after the first year, with the top salary band earning £31,250 for the four-week competition.

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