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How WPL is taking the next step towards gender pay parity

Cricket is not just restricted to being Gentleman's game. It's paving the way for more opportunities for women's sports and proving its commercial worth.

By  CNBC - TV18Mar 6, 2023 12:09 PM
How WPL is taking the next step towards gender pay parity
These WPL figures did make headlines but it would be tough to say if these franchises will see immediate profits with their heavy investments. But it is surely the next step toward building the brand for women's cricket. Until that shapes up, WPL is the next chapter of this journey which will require starting from the ground up and turning into a league. (Image source: Twitter handle: @WomenCricLive)

When Puma asked their social media audience about their new ambassador, it created a buzz more than expected considering it was a female sportsperson. But that's the phase in which Women's sports is thriving currently.

Opening batter Smriti Mandhana emerged as the most expensive player at the bidding, earning a Rs 3.4 crore bid from Royal Challengers Bangalore. And it is life coming to a full circle for Delhi Capital's player Jemimah Rodrigues who was once rejected by a cricket academy at the admission desk for being a girl.

Now she has become the second-fastest Indian woman to reach 1,000 runs in T20Is and bagged Rs 2.2 crore to play WPL 2023. Rodrigues will be sharing the dressing room with Shafali Verma whose U19 Women's T20 World Cup post-match presentation video brought tears to every India although it was purely, 'tears of joy'. In 2019 she became the youngest cricketer to play in a Women's Twenty20 International match for India and now she will be playing alongside so many big names for the Delhi Capitals for Rs 2 crore.

It was a major step towards gender pay parity and seeing BCCI woke about the whole discussion garnered a sense of ownership towards these young passionate players, who were giving their 100% even in sub-standard facilities and mere pay cheques.

These WPL figures did make headlines but it would be tough to say if these franchises will see immediate profits with their heavy investments. But it is surely the next step toward building the brand for women's cricket. Until that shapes up, WPL is the next chapter of this journey which will require starting from the ground up and turning into a league.

These numbers justify that now cricket is not just restricted to being Gentleman's game. It's paving the way for more opportunities for women's sports and proving its commercial worth. The monetary step by the investor has set the stage and has fixed the spotlights on all the five women-led teams, now it is on the players to encash on it and take cricket fans on a thriller ride.

First Published on Mar 6, 2023 12:09 PM