A report on the official ICC site confirmed that teams will now receive equal prize money for finishing in similar positions at comparable events. Also, the amount will be equivalent for winning a match at these events. Sharing his thoughts about the big decision, ICC Chairman Greg Barclay said, "This is a significant moment in the history of our sport and I am delighted that men’s and women’s cricketers competing at ICC global events will now be rewarded equally.”
“Since 2017 we have increased prize money at women’s events every year with a clear focus on reaching equal prize money and from here on in, winning the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup will carry the same prize money as winning the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and the same for T20 World Cups and U19s too.
“Cricket is genuinely a sport for all and this decision from the ICC Board reinforces that and enables us to celebrate and value every single player’s contribution to the game equally,” he went on add.
The ICC report pointed out at winners and runners-up at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 and 2023 received $1 million and $500,000 respectively, which was five times the amount that was given in 2018. Further, the prize money for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 increased to $3.5m from the $2m in 2017.
Also, every member of the ICC will receive an increase in funding courtesy of a strategic investment fund, which is dedicated to promoting global growth initiatives and is aligned with the ICC Global Growth Strategy. Elaborating on the same Barclay commented, "The success of our media rights and commercial programme for our next four-year cycle means we are able to invest more money than ever before into our sport.
"All Members will receive a base distribution and then additional revenue will be in relation to contribution to the global game both on and off the field. This is by far the largest level of investment ever to go into cricket and it’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our Members to accelerate growth and engage more players and fans and drive competitiveness," he added.
The ICC also announced a change in over-rate laws. Cricketers won’t lose 100 percent match fees like earlier. Instead, players will be fined 5% of their fee for every over their team is short, up to 50%. ICC said, "If a team is bowled out before the new ball is due at 80 overs, there will be no over-rate penalty applied even if there is a slow over rate. This replaces the current 60 over threshold.”
Sourav Ganguly, chair of the Men's Cricket Committee, confirmed, "The Men's Cricket Committee felt strongly that over-rate penalties in the form of WTC points deductions should remain but recommended that players should not have 100% of their match fee at risk.”
This rule comes into effect retrospectively starting from the ongoing WTC cycle, which began on June 16.
--By A Cricket Correspondent