In a massive improvement for women's cricket in New Zealand, NZC and New Zealand Cricketers Players Association have agreed on a new Memorandum of Understanding, the key features of which includes a considerable pay hike for the centrally contracted cricketers and a wider pool of contracted players, which also includes the domestic cricketers.
As per the new agreement, the player payment pool will go up from $1.575 million for three years to $4.136 million. The number of centrally contracted players will go up from 15 to 17, and nine players from each of the six associations will also be given a contract, apart from 8 players in the Development squad, taking the total number of contracted players to 79.
The pay for the centrally contracted player has risen to a range of $64,000 to $40,000 annually (inclusive of a retainer payment, retirement fund contribution and promotional payment). Players can also each earn up to $16,000 in match fees. As a result, a centrally contracted player could earn up to $80,000 annually (up from a maximum of $48,000 in the last MoU). They are also allowed to participate in overseas T20 leagues when they not involved with international or Smash commitments.
8 Players from the development squad will get $7,500 for participating in NZC High Performance programs and two domestic competitions.
54 players at the domestic level will also be getting contracts, with a $3250 pay for participating in Super Smash and Hallyburton Johnstone. The non-contracted players will get an assembly fee.
David White, NZC's chief executive, said the agreement addressed two key areas. "It significantly increases the White Ferns remuneration to reflect the growing commitment of our international players, and it seeks to invest in our domestic, developing and emerging players."
Amy Satthertwaithe, New Zealand skippeer, welcomed the new agreement and said, "I know people tend to focus on the White Ferns' contracts but the investment in domestic and developing players is an important step forward for women's cricket in New Zealand. This is an agreement that recognises the need to grow the game at grassroots and domestic level in order to produce White Ferns who excel on the world stage.
"This means all White Ferns can now ply their trade as full-time professional cricketers as well as having the flexibility to participate in overseas leagues - which is a huge leap forward for all involved. With the ICC Women's World Cup 2021 on the horizon, this will mean a great deal in terms of upskilling and training, and providing the best possible environment for preparing ourselves and the team."
Suzie Bates, the former captain, added, "From what I can see, it provides a great framework and starting point for the eventual semi-professionalisation of the women's domestic game in New Zealand - and that's probably the most important point in the entire agreement."