SYDNEY: Australia's elite female cricketers were handed a significant pay rise on Wednesday to make them the top earners of any women's team sport in the country.
Cricket Australia said the maximum retainers for contracted players, many of whom helped Australia reach the final of the World Twenty20 in India where they lost to the West Indies on Sunday, had been boosted to Aus$65,000 (US$49,150).
This is up from Aus$49,000 and, with extra money earned from the Women's Big Bash T20 League, match payments and tour fees, some will pull in more than Aus$100,000 annually.
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But this is still a long way behind the top men with the minimum value of a Cricket Australia contract for the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner for the 2016-17 season Aus$270,000.
This substantially increases when match and tour fees are taken into account.
CA chief executive James Sutherland said Australia's female cricketers were among the most successful sportswomen in the country and deserved to be rewarded accordingly.
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"Cricket is a sport for all Australians and Cricket Australia will continue to invest heavily in the women's game in the coming years," he said.
"We are determined to make cricket the sport of choice for women in Australia.
"We have worked constructively with the Australian Cricketers' Association to reach this point and will continue to do so in our ongoing efforts to improve wages and workplace conditions for all elite female cricketers."
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Alongside increased pay, CA said it was improving travel and accommodation benefits, reducing commercial restrictions for domestic players in relation to sponsors and updating its pregnancy policy.