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Australian male cricketers 'should give up their revenue share' to help female players earn more

ABC News logo ABC News 22/12/2016

Ellyse Perry plays a drive for the Sixers. © AAP: Paul Miller Ellyse Perry plays a drive for the Sixers. Australia's male cricketers should be prepared to give up some of their revenue share so that Australia's rising female players can earn more, a leading expert in sport's global gender pay gap says.

The call comes amidst fiery ongoing pay negotiations involving Cricket Australia and the Players' Association, which ended abruptly this week.

The talks were dogged by controversy, after it was reported that international male cricketers were still being offered a revenue share deal, but their female counterparts were not.

Claire Braund, co-author of the Gender Balance in Global Sport report, said if the Players' Association were sincere in getting a better deal for the women, they would put the pressure on male players to give that up.

"When you've got a large piece of pie, is it really hard to cut out a small wedge and share it amongst a small proportion of players who at the moment are not claiming that?" she said. "Or should we just give the entire pie in the existing way to the existing male players?"

'Males have to step down to create space for women to step up'

Both men and women who play for Australia receive payments like a contract and test match fees.

But according to Ms Braund's report, the top female cricketer's annual retainer is $65,000, while her male counterpart receives $900,000.

On top of that, the men also receive a revenue share, which is a bonus share of profits of the game.

"So the female players do not get a share of match revenues or those broadcast rights, and that I think is where the rubber hits the road," Ms Braund said. "There's a bit of argy-bargy going on because they're trying to seek more money from Cricket Australia in terms of a greater share of the revenue pool.

"My take on it is this — it's a bit like boards, you can only create so many seats for women to take, you can only fill so many vacant positions.

"At some point in time those who are in power, who are often the males, actually have to cede power and have to step down in order to create space for women to step up, so we can achieve some equity."

Ms Braund said at some point the players' group could not keep asking for more money.

"Because at some point in time you can't just have more," she said.

"There is a certain amount of money available, it might be more next year, it might be less the year after, it might be double the year after that — it really depends.

"And there has to be a responsible fiscal management through this whole process."

'We can achieve a revenue share for all players'

The Players' Association said it wanted a revenue share deal for both male and female players.

It said that the finances of Cricket Australia were healthy enough for women to receive more, and for the men to be unaffected.

Australian Cricketers Association spokesperson, Clea Smith, said the game was in a strong condition and a revenue share could work.

"A revenue share that works for all players — male and female, Australian level and domestic level — can be achieved," she said.

The Players' Association said it had been hampered by the fact that despite talks now stretching for two months, it still did not have Cricket Australia's financial forecasts for the game.

So far no forward date has been set after this week's talks ended early.

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