Fans accuse BCCI of gender bias after release of new contracts; Smriti Mandhana gives her honest opinion
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced their annual contract for women cricketers for 2020-2021 on Wednesday. The richest cricket body named 19 cricketers in this contract. It should be noted that there were 22 players in the last annual contract cycle.
The annual contracts for India Women have been categorized into 3 categories. The players in the top bracket earn a staggering Rs 50 lakh – Grade A – Rs 50 lakh, the second bracket is Grade B – Rs 30 lakh and the third bracket Grade C – Rs 10 lakh.
So far, only 3 players have been handed top contracts as Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and leg-spinner Poonam Yadav retained Grade A contract. Meanwhile, young cricketer Shafali Verma who earned her maiden annual contract last year has been promoted from Grade C to B.
On the contrary, the likes of Punam Raut and Rajeshwari Gayakwad are also promoted to Grade B. Meanwhile, Indian men's senior cricketers earn Rs 7 crores as their annual salary. The likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah are the only 3 players included in the bracket.
This sparked the debate of gender bias among the fans on social media. Fans started to criticize BCCI for not offering an equal salary to their cricketers.
Smriti Mandhana gives her honest opinion
Meanwhile, India's star woman cricketer Smriti Mandhana chipped in with her opinion on the same debate some time ago. She defended the BCCI despite this big gap in terms of salary between men and women cricketers in India. She highlighted saying that Virat Kohli and his team bring the most of the revenue.
“We need to understand that the revenue we get is through men’s cricket. The day women’s cricket starts earning revenue, I will be the first person to say that we need the same thing. Right now, we cannot say that,” said Smriti.
“I do not think any of my teammates are thinking about this [pay] gap because the only focus right now is to win matches for India. We need to get the crowd coming in and earn revenues. That is what we are aiming for. If that happens, everything else will fall in place.”
“For that, we need to perform. It is unfair on our part to say that we need to be paid as much as the men. It is not right. So, I do not think I want to comment on that gap.”