Indian female opener and the reigning ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, Smriti Mandhana, expressed her views on gender pay discrimination at an event in Mumbai on Wednesday. She threw light on this contentious matter because recently BCCI announced the central contracts for both men and women cricketers in which male top male players are entitled to an annual remuneration of INR 7 crore and female cricketers are given salary of only INR 50 Lakh for the same time period.
She elaborated on this issue and said that it is “unfair to compare the BCCI women's retainer contracts to their male counterparts.” In her opinion, it is not logical to ask for equal pay as the revenue primarily comes through men’s cricket. Explaining her thoughts further, she added, “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 mentioned that the team is focusing on winning matches for India, and not on getting higher revenues. “That’s 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 concluded.
During at the event, Mandhana also said that she idolizes Sri Lankan batting legend Kumar Sangakkara and men's team skipper Virat Kohli.
India women’s team will play a tri-series ahead of the World Cup T20 to be held in Australia and T20I vice-captain feels that the tournament is important to get the team composition right for the big event next month.