Former White Fern gives thumbs up to pay equity deal

Katey Martin, pictured during a White Ferns training session at Logan Park last year, on match...
Katey Martin, pictured during a White Ferns training session at Logan Park last year, on match fee parity: "I think it is a really good start." PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Former Otago and White Ferns wicketkeeper-batter Katey Martin has hailed the new player’s agreement as "something to build on".

The five-year deal announced yesterday will see the country’s elite female and male cricketers receive the same match fees.

Men will continue to collect higher New Zealand Cricket (NZC) retainers, which means the agreement is a move towards parity rather than actual pay equity.

But Martin, who retired in May following a lengthy international and domestic career, said it was a "stepping stone" for the women’s game.

"I think it is a really good start in terms of at least getting the match payments equal," she said.

"That is really exciting. And hopefully on the back of the Women’s World Cup and greater exposure, young girls will see it as an opportunity as a career ."

The improved pay means the highest-ranked contracted White Fern would be able to earn up to $163,246 a year, which is up from $83,432.

The top-ranked contracted women’s domestic players in each association would be able to receive a maximum of $19,146, up from $3423.

The agreement also sees the total number of women’s domestic contracts increase from 54 to 72.

However, the women’s domestic contracts have not reached the point where it would be financially viable to quit the day job, so under the terms of agreement the contracts impose fewer obligations to allow the players to retain fulltime employment or continue meeting study commitments.

The men will earn higher retainers, based on the increased number of matches played, formats contested and time spent training and playing.

The top-ranked Black Cap can earn up to $523,396, up from $459,574, while highest-ranked domestic men’s players in each association would be in line to receive a maximum of $102,707, up from $94,437.

NZC seems to be banking on a top down model. By putting more resources into elite women’s cricket, it is hoping to attract more players to the sport and build up the grassroots, which are bare in places.

There has not been a senior women’s club competition in Dunedin for decades, for example.

"If we have something that the young kids can see, and to know that there is definitely a pathway, then that will definitely help the grassroots," Martin said.

"Hearing stories from the kids during the World Cup and how much they enjoyed it, and how they got out and played, was encouraging.

"Knowing that there will be that pathway is a key thing from this agreement that for me is pretty exciting."

Martin said there was still work to do to ensure females had access to club competitions, resources and coaching.

"But this is a really good start and something for us to build on. It is hard to go backwards from these sort of agreements."

Martin recalled getting paid a $30 allowance for food and having to take unpaid leave to play cricket.

"Now the White Ferns girls are on $120,000-plus a year ... and we are looking at getting an A programme in and a winter training squad to allow the development of those players and build depth.

"And for your domestic girls to be in a position where they are getting up to $20,000 is so exciting.

Match fee

Schedule

Tests: $10,250

ODIs: $4000

T20Is: $2500

Plunket Shield: $1750

Hallyburton Johnstone Shield/Ford Trophy: $800

Super Smash: $575

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