Saturday, May 18, 2024

Schutt all praise for BCCI’s decision to strike pay parity

Megan Schutt of Royal Challengers Bangalore. File. Photo: SPORTZPICS for WPL

Megan Schutt of Royal Challengers Bangalore. File. Photo: SPORTZPICS for WPL

Few women can swing the ball the way Megan Schutt does. She has been one of the reasons for the aura of invincibility about the current Australian women’s team, having taken 236 wickets in international white-ball cricket, after making her debut in 2012.

Women’s cricket has undergone a major transformation since those days. She is delighted that female players are now getting what they are due.

“The growth of women’s cricket over the last 10 years is phenomenal,” Schutt, who was in Mumbai for the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League in which she played for Royal Challengers Bangalore, told The Hindu . “I didn’t think the WPL would happen in my time as a cricketer.”

She recalled how marginalised women’s cricket was when she started out. “We didn’t have WBBL, we didn’t have any of these leagues, we weren’t making the paper, we were not professionals, we didn’t have contracts that were well-paying,” she said. “Having seen those times, I am probably a little more humble than the new kids who come through and jump straight into professionalism.”

There is one thing in cricket that still disturbs her: lack of equal pay. So she was delighted when the BCCI announced equal match fee to its centrally contracted male and female players.

“Full credit to the BCCI,” Schutt said. “It is an incredible step. It takes courage to do that.

“That is what we have been striving for a very long time. We play the same game, albeit a bit differently at some times, we train as hard and we spend as much time on the road. India having equal pay for that is incredible and I hope it continues amongst other nations. The real goal is to have equal pay globally.”

Schutt is glad to see the emergence of pace bowlers like India’s Renuka Singh, her teammate at RCB, and her compatriot Darcie Brown.

She must be an inspiration for many young female pacers, but when she began bowling, women’s cricket wasn’t on television.

“Glenn McGrath, the Mr. Consistent, was my inspiration,” she said.

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