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MOU push to help WBBL stars

AAP logoAAP 19/08/2016 Scott Bailey

The battle to professionalise women's cricket is being won, but there's still a long way to go in the eyes of former Australian allrounder Lisa Sthalekar.

An important time looms as the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) begins negotiations on a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Cricket Australia (CA) by next June that would ensure equal conditions for both male and female players.

And Sthalekar, who played 187 matches for Australia and is part of the ACA executive, believes it must start with the likes of the domestic players who lit up the inaugural Women's Big Bash League season last summer.

"CA has done a wonderful job in what they have done so far in professionalising the game," Sthalekar told AAP.

"But what we need to do now is get that level of security for the state players as well because they're the ones we have to ensure there isn't a gap being formed to."

Currently, Australia's 111 domestic female cricketers are guaranteed a minimum salary of $18,000 when combining state cricket with the Big Bash League.

When mixed with the difficulties of holding a full-time job due to training and playing schedules, it meant necessities such as health insurance were previously hard to come by before they were provided by the ACA earlier this year out of the men's pocket.

"The long-term desire from us from an MOU perspective is that we're starting to see that females get equal pay that (is required) under the laws of this country," Sthalekar said.

"Therefore the girls would be able to afford their own top-level health cover.

"The female players are just as professional and the time commitment that they give, can be just as demanding as the male players.

"Obviously the competition-wise, they don't have as many playing or travel days, but they should be compensated properly for the amount of time they are giving for their jobs."

Also at the top of the ACA's desires are better conditions for the game's national players when on tour and a stronger voice around scheduling.

Currently, female players whose international tours are ended due to injury receive no compensation for tour fees lost.

"At the moment the girls don't have an industrial agreement at all," Sthalekar said.

"Some are trying to plan what their income is going to be, and they calculate what they will make by being selected.

"Some players have got mortgages or they've got payments on cars and then they lose them because of injuries."

The drive for a joint MoU comes about with the men's current deal expiring next June.

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