Diana Edulji: Unfair to compare women with men
CoA member Diana Edulji reacts to talk of central contracts' disparity
India players celebrate a wicket during the World Cup final against England at Lord's in London last July
Call it a coincidence, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) decision to officially release the players contracts on the eve of Women's Day may have resulted in heavy social media backlash over disparity of annual remuneration between men's and women's cricketers. However, Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji felt there cannot be any comparisons between the men's and women's teams. "It is unfair to compare the men and women cricketers. Women's cricket still has to be nurtured and it will grow over a period of time with more television coverage of their matches," Edulji told mid-day yesterday.
More TV exposure
The former India skipper revealed that the BCCI has ensured wide television coverage of women's matches in the forthcoming media deal for India's international matches which will be announced by the end of this month.
"The new BCCI media rights will have women's cricket covered extensively. Women's tennis also took a long time to where it has reached today," Edulji added. With the CoA introducing a new A-plus category for the men's, a new category of Grade C was introduced for the women's players. However, the bashing is over the huge pay difference. While the top Indian men's players will get R7 crore maximum for being in A-plus category, a Grade C player will earn Rs1 crore annually.
Compare it with the women's team: The highest they will fetch is Rs.50 lakh (Grade A) and the lowest is Rs.10 lakh (Grade C). The Indian women's cricket team have shown vast improvement over the last couple of years ever since a full strength support staff was put in place. Mithali & Co were World Cup finalists in England last year. More recently, the Women in Blue dished out a dominating performance in South Africa by winning the ODI and T20I series in comprehensive fashion.