Sexism row at World T20 as women fly economy, men in business

New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates. Photo / Getty
New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates. Photo / Getty

A sexism row has hit the World T20 in India over flight arrangements.

The world's best women cricketers are flying low when it comes to travel arrangements, but they are about to get an upgrade according to New Zealand Cricket.

The ICC is under fire after it emerged that it flew the men's teams to India in business class and the women in economy seating.

Australian cricket forked out to upgrade their women but NZC - which has a new women and cricket strategy - said it could not afford to do the same.

NZC confirmed to the Herald that the White Ferns enquired about receiving equal treatment and were turned down. But NZC chief executive David White revealed that at the most recent ICC meeting, the world body decided men and women would be treated equally in future flight and accommodation arrangements.

This new policy has not been signed off yet.

The England and Wales Cricket Board decided not upgrade the English women for the World T20 because it would cost an extra $65,000. NZC spokesman Richard Boock said it would have cost New Zealand about double that. NZC is forecasting a $5m loss for 2016, in part because it is early days in the latest ICC payment cycle.

The controversy has raised broader issues in society, including justifications put forward for the rich getting richer. In analysing that and the flight path of gender equality, Telegraph sports columnist Jonathan Liew wrote: "Sexism rarely gallivants around describing itself as sexism.

It disguises itself in innocuous-sounding phrases (such as) revenue generation, equality of opportunity, economic realities, the free market. These are used to keep discrimination in place long after the war for equality has superficially been won.

"...while the ICC may well decide to put the women in business when the World T20 moves to Australia in 2020...the plane flies on, and it is not just cricketers who are still sitting in the back."

- NZ Herald

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