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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has made history by announcing that men's and women's teams will receive equal prize money at ICC events. This decision, which was made during the ICC Annual Conference in Durban, South Africa, marks a significant step towards achieving prize money parity by 2030, well ahead of the set timeline.
The new policy ensures that teams will be awarded equal prize money for similar positions at comparable events, as well as for match victories. This means that the winners of the next ICC Men's Cricket World Cup will receive the same prize money as the winners of the next ICC Women's Cricket World Cup.
Greg Barclay, the ICC Chair, expressed his delight at this historic moment, stating that it "reinforces cricket as a sport for all and allows for the celebration and recognition of every player's contribution to the game equally." He noted that since 2017, the ICC has been steadily increasing the prize money at women's events with the clear goal of achieving equal prize money.
𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐝𝐚𝐰𝐧. 𝐀𝐧 𝐞𝐫𝐚 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 & 𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭— Jay Shah (@JayShah) July 13, 2023
I am thrilled to announce that a major step towards gender parity & inclusivity has been undertaken. The prize money at all @ICC events will be same for men & women. Together we grow.…
This decision is a major victory for women's cricket and is a significant step towards ensuring that women's cricketers are fairly compensated for their efforts. It is also a sign of the growing popularity of women's cricket, which has seen a significant increase in viewership and participation in recent years.
In addition to announcing equal prize money for men's and women's teams, the ICC Board also confirmed the largest-ever investment into the sport following the agreement on the distribution model for the next four years. Every ICC Member will receive significantly enhanced funding, with a strategic investment fund dedicated to driving global growth initiatives aligned with the ICC Global Growth Strategy.
Barclay further explained that the success of their media rights and commercial program for the upcoming four-year cycle enables them to invest more money than ever before in the sport. He emphasized that this is the largest level of investment ever to go into cricket and presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for their members to accelerate growth, engage more players and fans, and drive competitiveness.
The ICC Board also approved changes to ICC Sanctioning Regulations designed to support all members in creating sustainable revenue streams and developing the game while preserving and protecting the integrity of the sport and the welfare of those participating. Furthermore, the Chief Executives' Committee approved changes to over-rate sanctions in Test cricket to balance the need for maintaining over-rates and ensuring fair remuneration for players.
As such, players will be fined 5% of their match fee for each over-overtime up to a maximum of 50%. If a team is bowled out before the new ball is due at 80 overs, there will be no over-rate penalty applied even if there is a slow over rate. This replaces the current 60-over threshold.
Sourav Ganguly, from the ICC Men's Cricket Committee, stated that the ICC World Test Championship has injected renewed energy into Test cricket, giving it compelling context. He believes that the new amendment provides a balance between maintaining over-rates and ensuring players are not deterred from playing Test cricket.
These are all positive developments for cricket, and they show that the ICC is committed to growing and developing the sport for the benefit of all. The decision to award equal prize money to men's and women's teams is a major step forward, and it is a sign that the ICC is taking women's cricket seriously. The increased investment in the sport will also help to ensure that cricket continues to grow and thrive in the years to come.