New Zealand’s women’s cricketers are in line for a financial windfall after New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA) reached an agreement to increase remuneration for White Ferns players by more than double the previous agreement.

As per the new Women’s Master Agreement, the top New Zealand women’s cricketers can earn as much as $80,000 per year – nearly twice as much as the previous high of $48,000.

In all, 17 players will earn central contracts from NZC, two more than the previous player agreement, and will earn at least $44,000 per year. An additional $16,000 can also be earned in match fees.

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Eight other players will also receive central contracts in development roles (worth $7500) by participating in NZC high performance programmes and domestic limited-overs tournaments. The three-year agreement also allows female cricketers to participate in T20 leagues overseas when not playing for New Zealand or in domestic cricket.

The Women’s Master Agreement is the result of negotiations between the NZCPA and NZC and, when finalised, will replace the former Memorandum of Understanding, which expired on July 31.

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As per the terms of the WMA agreement, the number and value of White Ferns contracts has increased; a new tier of contracted development players has been introduced and, for the first time, domestic players will be paid by their major associations.

Amy Satterthwaite, Suzie Bates, New Zealand Women, White Ferns, captain
Amy Satterthwaite (left) and Suzie Bates hailed the new agreement. © Getty

Amy Satterthwaite, captain of the White Ferns, hailed the WMA as a historic and progressive accord that provides another significant step forward for the game in New Zealand.

“I know people tend to focus on the White Ferns’ contracts but the investment in domestic and developing players is an important step forward for women’s cricket in New Zealand,” she said. “This is an agreement that recognises the need to grow the game at grassroots and domestic level in order to produce White Ferns who excel on the world stage.

“This means all White Ferns can now ply their trade as full-time professional cricketers as well as having the flexibility to participate in overseas leagues – which is a huge leap forward for all involved. With the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 on the horizon, this will mean a great deal in terms of upskilling and training, and providing the best possible environment for preparing ourselves and the team.”

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Top allrounder Suzie Bates said that NZC investing in domestic and developing players underpinned a more strategic and considered approach towards women’s cricket in New Zealand.

“This agreement will hopefully make the game more attractive and accessible for young, aspiring players,” she said. “From what I can see, it provides a great framework and starting point for the eventual semi-professionalisation of the women’s domestic game in New Zealand – and that’s probably the most important point in the entire agreement.”

Added NZCPA chief executive Heath Mills: “We’re particularly pleased with the inclusion of domestic players in the contracting environment.  Providing a framework for 79 players to be part of the game’s high-performance system is a major development that, quite apart from anything else, reflects a genuine appetite to grow the women’s game here in New Zealand.”

David White, the NZC chief executive David White, commented: “I want to thank the NZCPA and the women’s cricketers for negotiating in such good faith and for never backing away from the absolute priority we all share: to advance the women’s game in the most effective and expedient way possible.

“This agreement, I think, 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.”