England Women to earn same match fees as men in move Heather Knight says represents ‘remarkable progress’

England Women’s match fees are to be brought in line with payment for the men’s team immediately, the ECB has confirmed; watch England Women’s first T20I against Sri Lanka on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 5.30pm.

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England Women’s captain, Heather Knight says it’s ‘awesome news’ that the men’s and women’s national sides will receive equal match fees

England Women are to earn the same match fees as the men’s side, the ECB has announced.

The change was recommended in the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) report, which found discrimination is “widespread” in English and Welsh cricket.

It said women were paid 25 per cent of men’s fees for white-ball and 15 per cent for Tests by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

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Image: Heather Knight (L) and Kate Cross celebrate England's ODI win against Australia during the 2023 Women's Ashes

The increase, which comes in the wake of England Women’s thrilling drawn Ashes series against Australia, comes into effect immediately, starting with the T20I series against Sri Lanka which gets under way this week.

England generated attendance records for women’s internationals during this summer’s Ashes series for their games at Edgbaston, the Kia Oval and Lord’s – as well as selling out matches at Taunton, Bristol and the Ageas Bowl.

‘Ashes felt like a watershed moment’

England captain Heather Knight said: “It’s remarkable how things have progressed. When you’re in it and things improve gradually, you don’t realise until you look back to what it was like back then in the early days of my career.

“It’s mad when you look back to 2010 when I started, we barely got expenses. To now be in a position to be professional and then earn a decent living from the game is obviously really pleasing.”

“It’s another really good step forward for the game. It’s kind of reward from what’s been a remarkable summer. You talk about the women’s game playing a big role in the sport and I think this is backing that up with not just words but actions as well.

“When you look at things that happened like the Ashes, the amount of support we’ve had, the momentum that that series had and the support that it had, I think that felt like a real watershed moment. I guess this is kind of following on from that and just another progression.

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“There are still areas that we can get better and investing in the pathway and making the domestic game fully professional is another key priority to continue to have that sustainability of the women’s game. It’s really pleasing but hopefully there are more things down the line that will continue to improve.”

The ECB has already increased salaries for women’s domestic teams, while pay for players in the Women’s Hundred has more than doubled from last year.

‘This will make cricket increasingly attractive to girls and young women’

Knight said: “It’s really important that we continue to drive the women’s game forward and it’s fantastic to see equal match fees.

“The direction of travel for the women’s game has always been the most important thing, and I’m sure this will make cricket an increasingly attractive sport to girls and young women as we continue to grow the game.”

Image: England's 2-1 victory in the Ashes ODIs was the first time Australia had lost a series in the 50-over format for 10 years

ECB chief executive Richard Gould added: “Growing the women’s and girls’ game is a key priority for us. In the years ahead, we will continue to invest ahead of revenues.

“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.”

Watch the first England Women’s T20I against Sri Lanka at Hove on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 5.30pm.

Sourse: skysports.com

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