The country’s top 10 women cricketers will be awarded annual contracts under the terms of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA).
It will be the first occasion a group of New Zealand women’s players have been retained on annual contracts for playing cricket – previously they were only paid assembly fees when training and playing for the White Ferns.
Both NZC and the NZCPA have welcomed the new MoU, which will govern the terms and conditions in the White Ferns’ environment over the next two years.
NZC Head of Cricket Lindsay Crocker said acknowledging the increasing demands placed on White Ferns in terms of preparing for, and participating in international cricket was a key consideration in discussions.
“The contract system is designed to keep New Zealand’s best women’s players in the game for longer,” he said.
“It provides a training structure between tours so our leading players can compete at international level while still maintaining fulltime employment outside cricket.”
NZCPA Player Services Manager Henry Moore said the contracting arrangement sought to balance players’ commitments outside the game with their pursuit of progress within it.
“It was important to try and advance the women’s game through this negotiation and we believe we have taken a significant step forward with the introduction of 10 annual retainer contracts.” he said.
“One of the key features of the MoU is that players who receive annual retainer contracts will be able to balance work and study commitments with their White Ferns obligations, as they will not be required to train or practice during normal business hours when not assembled with the team.’
Mr Moore said a leading White Fern on a retainer contract would now, depending on selection, have the ability to earn approximately $25,000 per year while still having the opportunity to complete other work or study.
The new White Ferns contracts will be structured along similar lines to the BLACKCAPS’ arrangement, with the top 10 players paid an annual retainer depending on a ranking process involving both T20 and One Day International cricket.
Contract retainers will be tiered from $10,000 to $12,000 per annum; daily assembly fees will be paid to all players selected for training camps and international tours, and those chosen from outside the 10 annual retainer contracts will receive a casual playing contract (including provision of assembly fees).
Mr Crocker said NZC were, at this point, unable to emulate Cricket Australia or the England and Wales Cricket Board, both of whom have moved to contract their national women’s squad members fulltime.
However, he said the MoU governing the new contract system would be up for negotiation in two years.
“At that point both parties will sit down to consider the initiative’s success and possible expansion.”
Newly-appointed White Ferns coach Hamish Barton will name the inaugural TOP 10 contracted players tomorrow.