There is a deluge of emotions running around in my mind as I pen down probably the toughest letter of my life. As an ardent cricket loving fan and a keen follower of Indian Cricket, it gives me immense pain and sadness seeing the dire state of one of the most powerful organisations in world cricket.
When the world is busy contemplating the possible fallout between the two heavyweights of Indian Cricket, Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble, the focus has been completely shifted from the on-field performances to the politics surrounding off the field.
It is quite surprising to see such a report emerge from the dressing room especially after a successful season at home. The players, led by skipper Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble, have been at the loggerheads with the Board over the remuneration for the players in central contracts.
The former leg-spinner even went on records saying that Virat Kohli should be paid more for handling the responsibility of captaining the side.
The pay scale issue among domestic players
Harbhajan Singh, the veteran off-spinner, voiced his opinion about the pay scale in the domestic circuit last week which does not allow the players to plan their future investments. With these series of events and the reports of the possible rift emerging from the dressing room, there is one major issue that probably has been completely forgotten is the upcoming Women's World Cup.
While the Men's team is already raking in the moolah, I really feel that it is time to focus your attention on the Women's team, who are currently enduring a dream run on the international circuit.
Firstly, at the outset, I would like to thank you for offering a contract system to the top players in the country last season. It was indeed a much-needed boost for the growth and development of the Women's team but unfortunately, there is one issue that is constantly bothering me as a well-wisher of the team. The dismal state of the Women players competing in the domestic circuit.
Barring Railways, none of the teams offers recruitment to the players at the domestic level. While some of the players are employed within Railways, the rest find it extremely difficult to manage their living due to the poor pay scale.
Apathy of Women Cricketers
The pay scale for One Day Match for the Senior Women's Team is Rs 3,500 while it is a mere Rs 1,750 for a T-20 match which is far less compared to what is being offered to a Ranji Trophy team. With such meagre wages, the girls find it difficult even to manage their cricket needs in terms of equipment and fitness.
The matches conducted by the board for the Senior Women’s team in the domestic calendar is not more than 20 in a year – which are minimal in comparison to their male counterparts. If we want to improve the standard of cricket in the women’s setup and strive to become the best in the business, we ought to give them more exposure to matches and pressure situations.
The average earning for a domestic player competing in the senior women’s category will be around Rs. 1 lakh per annum while the approximate earning for a men’s player competing at the Ranji Trophy level is close to Rs. 12 lakhs per annum.
Ever since the merger of the women’s cricket with the board, the girls have been benefited by the luxury of air travel and four-star accommodation but sadly, their daily allowance of Rs. 750 is way too less in this ever inflating economy.
The pay disparity and the lack of financial security are resulting in the increasing number of talented players leaving this wonderful sport to pursue their educational careers. The players are also forced to take up jobs at various organisations which hamper their playing career as they are not able to devote ample amount of time to the game.
As a follower of the team, it is extremely disheartening to see the such a huge difference in the pay scale as the Women’s team works equally hard, if not more, for improving their skills and the overall development of their game.
Like every cricket frenzy fan, the dream is to see the team do extremely well in the world arena and get a better dues and recognition, we request you to support the team to the fullest.
I really hope you take these points into consideration as, like an ardent follower and wellwisher of the team, I aim to see the Women’s team scale to greater heights and be the best team in the world.
With the Women’s World Cup just around the corner, it provides the team with an ideal opportunity to showcase their talent on the world map and win many more laurels for the nation.
From a silent admirer.