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Women's Cricket

Spotlight on stark gender pay gap in New Zealand domestic cricket

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Peter McGlashan, the former New Zealand batsman, has spoken out about the pay disparity in domestic cricket in New Zealand, following Sunday’s women’s domestic T20 final.

In a series of tweets after Wellington Blaze beat Canterbury Magicians by four wickets in a dramatic finish in the Super Smash, McGlashan drew focus on the fact that there was no prize money for Wellington, while the men’s winners stand to earn $NZ 80,000 after their final next month.

McGlashan played four ODIs and 11 T20Is for New Zealand and is now a commentator. He called both matches of the double-header on Sunday – the men’s game first and then the women’s final – before launching the tweets.

He revealed that Mitchell McClenaghan, for instance, got paid NZ$ 850 (he later corrected this to $575) for the men’s game he played that day, and that he himself got $350 for commentating two games, but Sophie Devine, the White Ferns star, got just $55 for a non-travelling day meal allowance.

“I saw the emotion on the players’ faces when they won the trophy, it obviously means a huge amount to them,” McGlashan told Stuff. “It’s the culmination of a year’s hard work, long nights fitting in training around their work.

“It reminds me of the fact that these women play it for the love of the game, barely get enough to cover their expenses, and yet only a few hours earlier, I’d been commentating a game full of professional guys who didn’t think twice about the fact that they justified their pay packet – playing in front of the same crowd, commentated by the same commentators, broadcast by the same TV network.”

Sara McGlashan has to travel the world to try and be a professional cricketer because of pay issues

Sara McGlashan has to ‘travel the world to try and be a professional cricketer’ because of pay issues

The top 15 players for the New Zealand Women’s team earn annual retainers, ranging from NZ$ 21,000 to NZ$ 35,000 plus match fees of NZ$ 310 per T20I and NZ $420 per ODI, as per reports. However, the domestic players get nothing, apart from NZ$ 55 on travel days.

McGlashan, whose sister Sara played for the White Ferns and is now a T20 gun for hire, knows the pain from close quarters. “(She now) has to travel the world to try and be a professional cricketer, because there’s no money for her back here in New Zealand,” he said of his sister, and added that she was lucky if she earned NZ$ 30,000 from playing the sport.

Last year, one of the domestic teams, Northern Districts Cricket – where McGlashan is a board member – were set to announce that their female players would get NZ$ 575 a game, but the plan was reportedly scuppered by New Zealand Cricket, because they believed it would scupper negotiations for an MoU covering women’s cricket.

According to the former Blackcaps, the disparity came as a surprise to many male players. “I spoke to one of the Auckland Hearts players yesterday and she mentioned that many of the Auckland men’s team were quite shocked when they found out that the women don’t actually get paid to play their games,” he said.

He had a suggestion for the time being. He took to Twitter again on Monday morning, and suggested the winners of the men’s Super Smash next month part with $NZ 20,000 of their $NZ 80,000 prize money and give it to the Blaze players for their win.

The board, meanwhile, admitted there was an issue. Stuff reported that Andrew Rogers, NZC head of professional cricket and integrity, acknowledged that the comments are valid and promised a review by the middle of the year.

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