Indian opener Smriti Mandhana on Wednesday said that it will be unfair for the women’s team to ask for equal pay as their male counterparts as the latter bring more revenue with them. Mandhana, the current ICC’s woman cricketer of the year, spoke about the pay parity at the unveiling of Bata’s new range of shoes in Mumbai on Wednesday.
“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. But right now, we can’t say that,” Mandhana told the media.
The male cricketers who have a central contracts are entitled to an annual remuneration of Rs seven crore, while a female cricketer gets Rs 50 lakh in the same category and for the same periozd.
“I don’t think any of my teammates are thinking about this gap because the only focus right now is to win matches for India, get the crowd coming in and earn revenues. That what we are aiming for, and if that happens, everything else will fall in place,” she said.
“And 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 don’t think I want to comment on that gap,” she added.
Mandhana has recently overcome a phase in her career when she was unable to convert starts. She spoke about how the coach – WV Raman – helped her solve the problem.
“Knowing that you can play your cover drive, on-drive, play over covers are things I used to always be like, ‘should I hit it here or there’. I had to limit my shots in the ODI format and understand what the team needs,” she said. “He [coach WV Raman] has told me to try and play 30 overs in ODIs and 12 overs in T20s. But to get a big score, you need to be there at the crease…it is helpful to work with Raman sir.”