New Zealand's top female cricketers will be able to earn up to $80,000 per year under their new player agreement with New Zealand Cricket, announced today.

A total of 17 players will be contracted to New Zealand Cricket, an additional two spots from their last agreement, earning a minimum of $44,000 per year. An additional $16,000 can also be earned in match fees.

The $80,000 top bracket nearly doubles the previous high of $48,000.

The agreement, reached in principle by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA), represents a major breakthrough for women's cricket in New Zealand, particularly in terms of financial consideration for players below international level.

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A further eight players will be centrally contracted in development roles, worth $7500, participating in NZC high performance programmes and domestic One Day and T20 competitions.

Players will also be able to play in overseas T20 tournaments when not involved in domestic and international commitments.

White Ferns captain Amy Satterthwaite hailed the new agreement, aiding in the development of women's cricket at the domestic level.

"I know people tend to focus on the White Ferns contracts but the investment in domestic and developing players is an important step forward for women's cricket in New Zealand," she said.

"This is an agreement that recognises the need to grow the game at grassroots and domestic level in order to produce White Ferns who excel on the world stage.

"This means all White Ferns can now ply their trade as full-time, professional cricketers as well as having the flexibility to participate in overseas leagues – which is a huge leap forward for all involved."

The new deal will run over a three-year term, expiring at the same time as the men's agreement with New Zealand Cricket.

Features include:

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*A total Player Payment Pool of $4.136m across the three-year term
*Domestic players included for the first time, increasing the total number of players on contract to 79 – up from 15 in the previous agreement
*17 (up from 15) centrally contracted WHITE FERNS earning a minimum remuneration of between $44,000 and $64,000 annually. This includes a retainer payment, a retirement fund contribution and a promotional payment
*In addition, WHITE FERNS can each earn up to $16,000 in match fees per year
*8 centrally contracted Development Players earning $7,500 for participating in NZC high performance programmes and the two domestic competitions
*54 (nine per Major Association) domestic players on Domestic Competition Agreements worth $3,250 – in consideration of their availability for the Super Smash and Hallyburton Johnstone competitions
*Players continuing to have the right to participate in overseas T20 competitions in Australia, England and India