Cricket: NZ women cricketers awarded annual contracts for first time

White Ferns captain Suzie Bates in action earlier this year. Photo / Getty
White Ferns captain Suzie Bates in action earlier this year. Photo / Getty

In a first for New Zealand, the country's top 10 women cricketers will be awarded annual contracts under the terms of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA).

Previously, women were only paid assembly fees when training and playing for the White Ferns.

NZC Head of Cricket Lindsay Crocker said acknowledging the increasing demands placed on White Ferns in terms of preparing for, and participating in international cricket was a key consideration in discussions.

"The contract system is designed to keep New Zealand's best women's players in the game for longer," he said. "It provides a training structure between tours so our leading players can compete at international level while still maintaining fulltime employment outside cricket."

NZCPA Player Services Manager Henry Moore said the contracting arrangement sought to balance players' commitments outside the game with their pursuit of progress within it.

"It was important to try and advance the women's game through this negotiation and we believe we have taken a significant step forward with the introduction of 10 annual retainer contracts." he said.

Mr Moore said a leading White Fern on a retainer contract would now, depending on selection, have the ability to earn approximately $25,000 per year while still having the opportunity to complete other work or study.

The new White Ferns contracts will be structured along similar lines to the men, with the top 10 players paid an annual retainer depending on a ranking process involving both T20 and ODI cricket.

Contract retainers will be tiered from $10,000 to $12,000 per annum; daily assembly fees will be paid to all players selected for training camps and international tours, and those chosen from outside the 10 annual retainer contracts will receive a casual playing contract (including provision of assembly fees).

Mr Crocker said NZC were, at this point, unable to emulate Cricket Australia or the England and Wales Cricket Board, both of whom have moved to contract their national women's squad members fulltime.

Newly-appointed White Ferns coach Hamish Barton will name the inaugural 10 contracted players tomorrow.

- NZ Herald

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