Many are criticising the new BCCI fee structure for a gender pay gap. Yesterday, BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) posted its revised retainership fee structure on Twitter and it came as a shock to many that Grade C male players were being paid twice as much as Grade A female players.
The new BCCI fee structure simply goes on to show that in India, cricket is still a men’s game.
Fans express their disappointment
BCCI recently revised its retainership fee structure and posted the announcement on Twitter as well.
#TeamIndia Senior Men retainership fee structure:
Grade A+ players to receive INR 7 cr each
Grade A players to receive INR 5 cr each
Grade B players to receive INR 3 cr each
Grade C players to receive INR 1 cr each
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 7, 2018
#TeamIndia Senior Women retainership fee structure:
Grade A players to receive INR 50 lacs each
Grade B players to receive INR 30 lacs each
Grade C players to receive INR 10 lacs each pic.twitter.com/u05YDFocWN
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 7, 2018
Fans on Twitter expressed how concerning and disappointing its fee structure was.
Is this a joke? Even the Grade C men players are paid in terms of Crore. Why the Gender difference? This is totally unacceptable. https://t.co/uggEOh0Hd1
— Jessy Rajkumari (@imJRK_4) March 7, 2018
A system and disparity that's been there for years now. Women have got a good hike this time but since they've been given so less since forever, there's still gulf in class difference in the pay. Hopefully something soon
— Vimarsh Munsif (@VimarshMunsif) March 7, 2018
Important point here is why such huge pay gap between men and women cricketers??? Isn't it bcci's responsibility to promote women's cricket as well….. It should first start with equal pay so as to attract talent… @sachin_rt @imVkohli @msdhoni
— Amod Vaze (@asvaze) March 8, 2018
Why there is a so much pay gap between men & women ??? I feel @BCCI is not giving importance to game of cricket, rather reward is based on the principle from where they are earning more revenue. @MitaliRaj2 @imVkohli
— Priyadarshan (@topdb) March 7, 2018
@BCCI I think cricket is a game of skill. Be it men or women sweating out it similar, then why this pay gap?@imVkohli and @M_Raj03 represent team India. They deserve equal pay.#genderneutral pay is the right way
— @DuSRaV (@DurgaSrinivasV) March 8, 2018
Women Cricketers work equally hard
Some people are standing by BCCI’s fee structure by saying that men’s cricket team brings home much more revenue than women’s team.
However, our female cricket players work as hard as male players. This has been clearly visible in their recent wins and individual achievements. Our women’s team made to 2017 Women’s World Cup Finals. Recently they won a bilateral series against South Africa on their turf. During this series all-round cricketer Jhulan Goswami became the first cricketer to claim 200 ODI wickets in the history of women’s cricket.
It is easy to justify the pay gap on basis of revenue generated by each team. But there is no justification for paying a Grade A women cricketer half of what a Grade C male player earns.
Men’s cricket commands religious devotion in this country. But this only points out to society’s misogynist thinking.
Empty stadiums and no media coverage to women’s cricket team matches is what hurts their paychecks the most.
The only way to overcome this disparity, is to change our cultural perception of gender thoroughly. We cannot force women’s cricket on the male viewers. But if we manage to cultivate respect for female gender, then probably men will show equal interest in both men’s and women’s cricket matches. Such a change will trigger a reaction, which will bring sponsorship, media coverage, and eventually more revenue to Indian women’s cricket.
Picture Credit: Cricket country
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.