Friday, 8 March 2013

Our Girls Deserve Better Than Cattle

Tom Fordyce has a blog up on the BBC Sport web site, headlined GB sportswomen tell BBC Sport survey they 'lack support'.

The article is about pro sport in general, but cricket gets a specific call-out:
At last autumn's Twenty20 cricket World Cup, women's teams were given a daily living allowance a third less than their male counterparts; while the winning men's time took home £616,000, the champion women's team won just £40,000.
I think that the prize money is a bit of a separate issue, especially as it doesn't go directly to the players; but I know that two issues rankled with the girls who went to the T20 World Cup, and actually I have it from a reliable (but off the record... sorry!) source that the biggest one for the England team wasn't the daily living allowance, but the fact that they had to fly "cattle" to the sub-continent.

And I have to say - I agree with them! Partly because I've done it myself (London to Bangalore) and it was not much fun! But also because it seems so petty: how much would it have really cost for the ECB to upgrade the girls to business? Even at list price, only a few thousand, which in the greater scheme of things isn't much, and as top athletes, no more than they deserve.

(And that's before you factor in the possibility that someone like British Airways might have done it for free, in exchange for a few promotional photos of Danni Wyatt and Sarah Taylor enjoying a glass of orange juice in the business class cabin!)

To make matters worse, the ICC\ECB then not only repeated the slight at the recent World Cup in India, but also appear to have explicitly directed the players not to complain about it in public. (Again... off the record sources!)

So... wake up ECB - our girls aren't cattle, and they don't deserve to fly like them either!

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