England captain Heather Knight and Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy have raised their voice about the important issue of infrastructural inequality that the women’s cricket is facing. They have urged ICC to create extra centralised funds that will help in accelerating the process of the professionalization of the women’s cricket.
Knight and Healy, two of the most well-established names in the women’s game, have emphasized on the need of infrastructural improvement in the game. While most national boards and the ICC have identified the T20 format as the most appropriate vehicle to promote and grow the women’s game in the past decade, the two players urged them to give similar level of attention to one day internationals.
“As players, we understand that cricket countries around the world are in very different financial positions,” Healy and Knight have written in the FICA Women’s Professional Cricket Global Employment Report 2020.
They also urged boards to invest more in women’s cricket to achieve gender equality. Further excerpt from the letter said, “Having said that, there needs to be equal commitment from all countries to addressing barriers, and promoting and investing in the women’s game if we are to achieve gender equity on the global stage and in individual cricket countries. At the global level, we think there is an opportunity for the ICC to prioritise increased and targeted investment in the game around the world, not just in global events. This could include for example more centralised funds to assist the professionalization of the game in more countries and to ensure more matches can be played.”
The two stalwarts of women’s cricket have expressed their concern about unsecured contracts of women’s cricket as many women cricketers are generally given contracts of one year or less. Courtesy of these short-term deals, players are often compelled to find another way of income to survive. They also have addressed the topic of less television exposure. Recently there has been increased broadcast exposure of global tournaments; T20 leagues have thrived in England and Australia, but women’s cricket still has a long way to go across different parts of the world.