The Bollywood industry joined the latest chorus of national voices lauding BCCI’s decision to award equal match fees for both centrally-contracted men and women cricketers. In its landmark decision, the BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted, “I’m pleased to announce @BCCI’s first step towards tackling discrimination. We are implementing a pay equity policy for our contracted @BCCIWomen cricketers. The match fee for both Men and Women Cricketers will be the same as we move into a new era of gender equality in Cricket.”
Under the new fee arrangement, both Indian men and women cricketers will be paid Rs 15 lakh per Test match, Rs 6 lakh per One-Day International (ODI), and Rs 3 lakh per T20 match. Earlier, women players were offered much less with Rs 1 lakh paid for each ODI and T20 matches and Rs 4 lakh for a Test match. This makes it the second country to remove gender disparity in international cricket, New Zealand being the first. Apart from this historic decision, the BCCI had earlier announced the first-ever women’s IPL scheduled for next year.
Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan praises BCCI decision
As the bastions of progressive voice in this country, many Bollywood actors with affinity for sports like Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bacchan, Taapsee Pannu and others lauded the decision. Taking to Twitter on this historic decision, superstar Shah Rukh Khan wrote, “What a good front foot shot. Sports being such an equaliser (in more ways than one) hoping it will pave the way for others to follow." Actresses also praised the decision with Tapsee Pannu thanking BCCI in a tweet for ‘leading with example’. Actress and IPL owner Preity Zinta also welcomed the decision and thanked Jay Shah, Rajiv Shukla, Roger Binny, and Arun Thakur in a tweet.
The BCCI’ latest decision comes in the backdrop of the Indian women's team's triumph of winning the Asia Cup, recently held in Bangladesh. They beat Sri Lanka by six wickets and also recently won the country’s first-ever silver medal in cricket at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham earlier this year.