In a recent move, South Africa has joined a group of nations that have implemented gender pay equality in cricket. The Proteas, the South African cricket team, have announced that male and female players will receive equivalent remuneration for their participation in international matches. This follows similar decisions made by New Zealand and India. The move aligns with the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision earlier this year to award equal prize money to men’s and women’s teams participating in ICC competitions.
The recent events in South Africa are a direct result of the impressive accomplishments of the national women’s cricket team over the past year and a half. During this time, the team made it to the semi-finals of the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand and then went on to reach the final while hosting the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year.
It was the first time ever a senior South African team had reached the final of a World Cup and leading figures from cricket across the country gathered in Tshwane on Tuesday to announce an updated structure to their domestic women’s competition and equal pay for both male and female players at international level.
Teams in South Africa’s domestic competition will now be allowed to contract up to 11 players – five more than the previous six that were allowed – and will also be able to add more full-time coaches and support staff to their set-up.
Cricket South Africa CEO Pholetsi Moseki said the changes announced were an important stepping stone to build on the legacy provided by hosting the T20 World Cup earlier this year and will help further grow women’s cricket in the country.
“We are thrilled to unveil the Professional Women’s Cricket League, an initiative that celebrates the remarkable achievements of our national women’s cricket team and paves the way for an even brighter future,” Moseki said.
“The professionalisation of the women’s domestic structure aims to elevate the women’s cricketing landscape by providing a platform for local talent to shine, fostering a culture of sporting excellence, while inspiring the next generation of players.
“With the success of South African cricket on the global stage, we believe that this will be a stepping stone for local talent, creating an environment that fosters growth, resilience, and a deep love for the sport.
“Professionalising the women’s domestic structure has been met with enthusiasm from fans, players, and sponsors alike. We call on brands to continue showing their support for women’s cricket, recognising the league’s potential to redefine the narrative around women in sports in the country.”
The changes to match fees for South Africa’s women’s cricketers will commence next month when they travel to Pakistan for a six-match white-ball tour against the Asian side.
South Africa play three T20Is in Karachi from September 1 and then a further three 50-over contests in the same city from September 8.