In the match day programme for the England v Australia Men’s ODI series, made public today, the ECB have officially confirmed that the current women’s contract system now extends to 22 players – 19 full contracts and 3 Rookie contracts.
Sophie Ecclestone has had a full contract since September 2017 and the 3 “Rookies” are Freya Davies (Sussex), Alice Davidson-Richards (Kent) and Katie George (Hampshire).
The ECB have also announced that from February 2018 10 of the contracted players have seen pay increases of 50% or more and that the overall salary pot is up by 40%. Additionally there is now a bonus pot of money awarded for wins in bilateral series.
While the ECB have never confirmed how much the contracts are worth, the players on the top level of contract – Tier 1 – are likely to now be earning in the region of £50,000.
The Rookie contracts, which will come up for renewal in September, are thought to be worth significantly less, with the current 3 Rookie players remaining reliant on other sources of income or parental support.
The main contracts are renewable in February each year but are now rolling contracts that can be extended for up to 2 years, adding to player security in a system where losing a central contract means going straight from hero to zero with no fallback underneath.
In the piece, ECB Director of Women’s Cricket Clare Connor states that: “Any increase to a player’s salary is judged on performance and potential.”
She highlights that equal pay is not a current goal but emphasises that “we should be bold… and demonstrate a commitment to closing that gap.
“The objective is to get to a situation in 2020 – when the new investment in the game kicks in – whereby the players are paid double what they were paid when they won the World Cup. It’s the direction of travel that’s important.”