Australian players will have more reasons to celebrate after the new five-year deal. Image Credit: BCCI/SPORTZPICS

Melbourne: Australia’s women cricketers secured a huge pay increase on Monday, with the top contracted player on course to earn more than A$1 million ($666,000) a year.

Payments for professional women will rise 66 per cent under a new five-year deal between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association.

State contracts

They will share in a pool worth A$133 million, up from A$80 million in the previous agreement, rewarding not only members of Australia’s world champions team but significantly increasing the value of Big Bash League and state contracts.

According to the deal, the top CA contract holder who also has a WBBL contract - believed to be national captain Meg Lanning - could now earn more than A$800,000 a year.

That could break the A$1 million mark with further earnings in India’s Women’s Premier League and The Hundred in England.

The next six contracted players will earn an average A$500,000.

Those who do not play for Australia, but compete in the Women’s National Cricket League and WBBL, will be paid more than A$151,000 annually.

“I am particularly pleased this MOU (memorandum of understanding) represents another major step forward in the rise of women’s cricket,” said CA chief Nick Hockley.

Significant increases

“(There are) significant increases in remuneration for the inspirational role models of the world champion Australian women’s team and the WBBL who are driving substantial growth in female participation.

“Cricket now clearly offers the best earning opportunities of any team sport for elite female sportspeople.”

The deal will also see the number of CA men’s contracts increase from 17-20 to 20-24, recognising the number of players now selected across various formats.

The value of those contracts will increase 7.5 per cent in the first year and two percent thereafter to an average A$951,000 plus match payments in 2023-24.