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Senior White Fern welcomes NZ women cricketers' big pay rise

Senior White Fern says New Zealand’s top women cricketers will be able to dedicate more time to the sport after a 100 per cent rise in their basic pay.

The new three-year deal with New Zealand Cricket will see 15 White Ferns earn from $20,000 to $34,000 a year – up from $10,000 to $12,000.

With match fees of $400 for one day internationals and $300 for T20 games, leading White Ferns will soon be earning more than $40,000 per annum, not counting prizemoney, fees from playing in overseas leagues, or endorsements.

In contrast, the top-ranked Black Caps male cricketer will earn $205,266 for 2016-17, with match fees at $8495 per test, $3682 per ODI and $2407 for a T20 international.

Black Cap contracts diminish in value by about $7000 from the No.1 ranked player to the bottom-ranked (21st) player, who is on the base rate of $85,585 plus match fees.

Domestic men’s players – 15 from each major association – receive retainers for seven-and-a-half months ranging from $52,154 for those ranked No 1, down to $25,829 for those ranked No 15. Match fees are $1595 for four-day Plunket Shield matches, $745 for a 50-over match, and $520 for a T20 game.

The pay-gap does not surprise Satterthwaite.

“I don’t think we necessarily except to be paid the same as the boys… we know we don’t bring in the same amount of money.

But the 29-year-old was pleased to be “just remunerated for the time and effort that we do put it… it’s a huge commitment and we do it because we love it.”

Satterthwaite, who made her Canterbury debut in 2003 at 16 and first represented New Zealand at 20, is one of the country’s most experienced female cricketers.

She said the move to provide more remuneration showed the value placed on the players staying in the game.

For the last two years, NZC only had 10 women on contracts.

Satterthwaite said the old rate had allowed the women to train to an extent but had not accommodated for a change in their job situations.

“Of last year’s squad of 16, who were high performance, roughly half still had full time jobs”, Satterthwaite said.

The new deal allowed for 15 women to be contracted.

NZC chief executive David White said the move was good news, not just for women’s cricket but for the overall health of the New Zealand game.

“Internationally, women’s cricket is going from strength to strength and this new [memorandum of understanding] recognises that evolution.”

Satterthwaite said Australia and England “have obviously led the way [in terms of remuneration] and I think it’s probably putting pressure on all the countries.”

“I think just the way that the women’s game is going … is probably putting a lot more pressure on to remunerate for the effort and the time that people are putting in.”

Cricket Australia announced a new deal for Australia’s elite women’s player last April, increasing the payment pool from $2.4 million to $4.4 million, with maximum retainers for the Southern Stars rising from $51,000 to $67,000.

Maximum retainers for the Women’s Big Bash League were also increased to around $17,000. Australia’s Southern Stars are also paid match fees, meaning their earnings could potentially exceed $100,000.

England has 19 contracted women’s cricketers on $90,000 base retainers. They also receive $1800 for a test match and $900 for a 50 over or T20 game.

Satterthwaite, who works for Canterbury Cricket, does not feel her situation will change dramatically but feels it would give other White Ferns more time to dedicate to the game.

Although she wants to keep a good work-life balance, she said contracted players would now have the opportunity to train at better hours rather than early morning or evenings to fit in around jobs.

This in turn would lead to better recovery between training sessions and matches.

Satterthwaite thinks female cricket has reached a turning point in New Zealand.

“At the moment where we are sitting trying to grow it and get that interest increasing, so I think we are sitting at a point where it’s going to continue to track upwards”

“The addition of funds into the team will hopefully encourage young girls to pursue the sport as a career but also keep them in it.

“We’ve often seen people retire mid-twenties so if we can keep them into their early thirties then that would be fantastic from an experience point of view.”


New Zealand White Ferns women’s cricketers offered annual contracts for 2016-17: Suzie Bates (captain), Erin Bermingham, Sam Curtis, Sophie Devine, Holly Huddleston, Leigh Kasperek, Katey Martin, Thamsyn Newton, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Liz Perry, Rachel Priest, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu.

By Fleur Mealing, for The Press