A new three-year agreement has been reached in principle between New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and New Zealand Cricketers Player Association (NZCPA) with an aim to increase the benefits given to women cricketers of the country.
The key features of the new Women's Master Agreement include a considerable pay hike for the centrally contracted cricketers and a wider pool of contracted players, which also includes the domestic cricketers.
When finalised, the agreement will replace the previous Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed in 2016, and expired on July 31.
Under the new agreement, the number of contracted players will be 79 across three levels, up from 15 under the previous MoU. While the total player payment pool will comprise $4.136 million over three years -- an annual payment of $1.38 million -- the player payment pool in the previous MoU was $1.575 million for three years.
According to an NZC statement, the number of centrally contracted players will increases to 17, from 15 over the last three years, with pay ranging from $64,000 to $40,000 annually (inclusive of a retainer payment, retirement fund contribution and promotional payment). Players can also each earn up to $16,000 in match fees.
Under the new agreement, eight centrally contracted Development Players will earn a minimum of $7,500 for participating in NZC High Performance Programmes and two domestic competitions.
Also, centrally contracted players will be able to participate in overseas T20 leagues in Australia, England and India, when not committed to international or Super Smash fixtures.
In addition, 54 players (nine for each of the six major associations) will be on domestic competition agreements worth $3,250.
The new agreement has been welcomed by many New Zealand women cricketers like skipper Amy Satterthwaite, all-rounder Suzie Bates and Arlene Kelly.
NZC chief executive David White said: "The agreement addresses two key areas -- it significantly increases the White Ferns remuneration to reflect the growing commitment of our international players, and it seeks to invest in our domestic, developing and emerging players."