The rapid growth in the profile of international women's cricket is being undermined by "amateur" standards, particularly at the national level, according to the results of a global survey conducted by FICA, the players' association.
The FICA The Report and Survey on the Global Employment Market for Women 2018 is the first study of its kind, since the players were formally brought under the auspices of FICA in 2016. In a 60-page document published this week , 20 key findings on the health of the game are summarized, as determined in interviews with players from the 12 ICC member countries.
The overwhelming conclusion of the report is that the game is "moving forward in a positive way", with 89% of the 124 players surveyed, including 76 current internationals, saying they were optimistic about the future of the game.
However, the report also found that gender inequality was the biggest barrier to the long-term future of gambling, with the opportunity for still limited participation in many countries, as well as for continued wage inequality in comparison with their male counterparts.
"There has been a dynamic change in the world, where companies and sports increasingly see the importance of equality." Lisa Sthalekar, a former Australian member and current FICA Board member, says in the report . "Cricket is no different, with a decisive moment in July 2017, when the final of the ICC Women's World Cup ran out in Lord & # 39; s".
That tournament, won by England in an exciting final against India, transformed the profile of the sport. The sport pushed many of its biggest names to a place that had never before fallen into female cricket. However, the challenge of closing that gap between the possibilities of the game and its current realities remains significant.
The report states that the growth of sport is currently hampered by "the culture of insecurity" that exists in the women's game, and asks
FICA research found that the global number of fully professional players currently it is "no more than 120", adding that only in Australia today, with the female Big Bash, and increasingly in England, through the arrival of the Kia Super League, is able to offer professional cricket as a true career option for women. As a result, the report states that "these two are moving away from the rest of the countries."
In addition, four of the 12 member countries of the ICC (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan) were unable to provide sufficient information. information to offer a "realistic and balanced evaluation" of the health of the female game in their countries.
"While the report recognizes the great advances in the women's game both on and off the field, there is still a lot of work to be done," says Sthalekar. "Complacency is not an option if the game is to realize its potential and recalibrate the scales of equality in cricket."