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ICC defends Women’s World Cup purse gap

The International Cricket Council is standing behind a decision to award this week’s Women’s World Cup winners just a third of the prize money it gives to men.

And the gender pay gap is unlikely to be sorted for almost a decade, with officials working towards the end of the next budget cycle in 2031.

There is $US6.5 million ($A8.7 million) pay gap between the 50-over World Cups, with $US10 million ($A13.3 million) paid out to the last men’s tournament and just $US3.5 million ($A4.6 million) on offer this month in New Zealand.

Whereas the successful English men’s side took home $US4 million ($A5.3 million) in 2019, Meg Lanning’s side are among four left standing this month chasing a winners paycheck of $US1.32 million ($A1.76 million).

ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice, speaking from Wellington, admitted world cricket was “coming from a long way back” towards pay equity.

“We’re not there yet. But we’re on the journey to get to prize money parity,” he said.

Allardice said the ICC’s budgets were done in eight year cycles, with discussions about to get underway on the next cycle, taking in 2023-2031.

The Melburnian said he wanted to “bridge the gap” in cash awarded to men’s and women’s cricketers in the next cycle, noting complexities.

“The (men’s and women’s) tournaments have a different number of teams. They’re different lengths,” he said.

“We’re about to start discussions around the next cycle. One of the starting points for that cycle is going to be trying to get parity for the finishing positions of teams in women’s events and comparable men’s events.”

Despite the gender pay gap, prizemoney at the Women’s Cricket World Cup has soared across the last three events.

In 2013, the total on offer was just $US200,000 ($A270,000).

That figure leapt tenfold to $US2 million ($A2.7 million) in 2017 before a 75 per cent jump to this tournament.

In 2020, Cricket Australia (CA) took the bold step of topping up its T20 World Cup winners prizemoney to equal a men’s payday.

However, a CA spokesperson told AAP was a one-off deal as tournament hosts.

“The circumstances around this tournament are different,” the spokesperson said.

“The increase of 75 per cent in prize money since the last ICC (Women’s) World Cup is encouraging and we will continue to advocate for parity and lobby the ICC to boost the prize pool.”

Allardice said the standard of cricket on display this month in New Zealand had been “spectacular”.

“The competitiveness of the cricket has been a joy to watch. The strides the teams have been taking forward over the last five years or so in the standard of play, in the excitement of the tournament is something that needs to be commented on.”

The next T20 Women’s World Cup is next year in South Africa, while a bidding process to host the next ODI World Cup is currently underway.

Allardice said the tournament would stay an eight-team event in 2025 and expand to 10 teams in 2029.

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