FICA report: Chance for women to earn a living from international cricket up by 75% from 2020

FICA report: Chance for women to earn a living from international cricket up by 75% from 2020

Opportunities to earn a living playing international cricket as a woman have grown by 75% since 2020, with a total of 207 central contracts spread across 11 national teams. That was the main finding of FICA’s third global women’s professional cricket employment report, which also forecast a 30% increase in T20 league contracts by 2023, largely thanks to the launch of the Women’s Premier League (WPL). and the Women’s PSL (WPSL), as well as the introduction of a second FairBreak event.

Overall, FICA noted a “clear increase in competitive structures and professional employment opportunities,” but continues to see a clear gap between the haves and have-nots of the game. Australia remains the “world leader”, England has the “most established women’s cricket structure”, and India, Bangladesh, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies were praised to varying degrees for their progress.

On the other hand, Pakistan was written to be “struggling to keep up” with the rest, Scotland’s development was described as “hindered”, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe were assessed as “without professional structures” and the Netherlands was said to have “significant work to be done.” These results are reflected in the ICC rankings, with the missing countries appearing further down the list.

There was also an assessment of Afghanistan, which has never fielded a women’s team and currently has no contract players. The Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021 put an end to whatever development Afghanistan was making in women’s cricket and will be the topic of discussion at the next ICC board meeting in March, where the full membership of Afghanistan.

FICA described the ban on women’s sport in Afghanistan as a “significant blow” and described Afghanistan as “in breach” of the ICC’s full membership requirements, which insist on a women’s structure. While not calling for a ban in Afghanistan, FICA “continues to advocate that the ICC embed its human rights responsibilities as a business into its regulatory and governance frameworks, which would help it align with best practice in world sport.”

FICA also called on the ICC to “formally order” the league windows in the women’s game to avoid the scheduling conflicts seen in the men’s game before it is too late. Although the overall volume of women’s international matches dropped from 350 in 2019 to 216 in 2021 (largely because women’s cricket suffered disproportionately from the Covid-19 lockdown), FICA has still seen significant overlap between leagues. and bilateral cricket.

Speaking at a media roundtable last month, ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said he hoped the introduction of a Future Tours Program for women was a way to avoid the cross-club/country bickering that is growing in the game. male. FICA hoped there would be clear distinctions between the two in the women’s game, especially as almost half (48%) of the female cricketers surveyed (over 150) said they would turn down a domestic contract for a larger domestic league contract. Almost three-quarters of female cricketers (73%) favor fencing time for both international and league cricket.

Listening to the players is crucial, particularly in women’s football, where 41% of players do not believe that “women cricketers in their country have a clear opinion on the problems of the game.” A total of 44% of gamers felt they had experienced discrimination and the majority of this group believed it was based on gender. Of these, three quarters did not believe they had enough support afterwards.

FICA has pledged to continue “highlighting systemic barriers to the formation of player associations in some countries”, while also warning against tokenism and calling for more funding in women’s football.