Thursday, 13 February 2014

The ECB Get Serious About Women's Cricket

The ECB's announcement today of enhanced contracts and "significant" pay rises for England Women is fantastic news for the game in this country.

When the new Australian contracts were introduced last year, we all hoped that this would be a catalyst for similar moves over here; and so it has proved.

There are still a few question marks over the "dots and crosses" [or should that be "Lotts and (Kate) Crosses"?] of this deal. In particular, what happens to the existing Chance To Shine and MCC Young Cricketer contracts, which are currently putting the bread on the table and the petrol in the car? And in the case of Chance To Shine, what happens to their outreach programs, now that they have (presumably) just lost half their staff?

Also in general terms, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that this is more of a beginning than an end - we may have professional players now, but that's a long way from having a professional game which doesn't depend on handouts and cross-subsidies from men's cricket.

But for now, let's just sit back and celebrate an amazing landmark in the history of our game.

Champagne, anyone? It's on the players - they're rich now, apparently! [Er... they're almost certainly not! Ed.]

4 comments:

  1. Absolutely fantastic news for women's cricket in England and richly deserved reward for the dedication of the players but after the disgraceful "big three" carve up at the ICC I have a horrible feeling this will be used as a PR opportunity by the ECB to mask wider issues

    The recent changes at the ICC look to have hamstrung the potential development of cricket in the rest of the world (particularity the Associates) in favour of short term financial gains for the three wealthiest nations.

    Full time professional women's cricket has looked pretty much inevitable for England and Australia in the near future for some time and could easily have been financed within the current model.

    If professional women's cricket is just limited to Australia and England in future with the development in other nations thrown to the wayside that's not much of a future IMO.

    For now only a qualified popping of champagne corks from me until we see something more positive from the "reformed" ICC.
    I sincerely hope I'm wrong but outside of the big three the future of cricket (for women or men) is looking very uncertain.

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    1. South Africa are on their way too - albeit following a very different model of trying to be self-sustaining from the start, via sponsorship. India obviously have the resources, though whether they have the will in high places is another matter. But I agree it looks harder for many of the others, with potentially less income for the national boards to trickle-down to the women's game.

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  3. Its a catch22. If England & Aus don't do this because other countries won't or can't then cricket stagnates. If they do, and become significantly better than other countries, then we'll need The Ashes every other year to maintain interest. Issues either way but I think this is a positive step.
    Women's cricket has the potential to garner significantly more coverage and support than it currently gets, England and Australia have demonstrated what a fantastic 'product' they can offer and women's cricket is in debt to the players of Eng/Aus that have put on such magnificent Ashes series in 2013 and 2014.
    Does this mean Holly Colvin can do a u-turn. Could do with another world class spinner in the T20 World Cup !

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