Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday announced that the board would be matching prize money for the upcoming women's ICC T20 World Cup 2020 to ensure parity with men's prize money.
This could see CA picking up a USD 6,00,000 bill (AUD 8,85,000) for parity if the Australian team manages to win the tournament.
"We want to continue our commitment to equality by ensuring that any prize money earned by the Australian Women's team in the T20 World Cup is the same as what is on offer in the men's side of the tournament. This will include matching the prize money for the final, semi-finals, or group stage," CA CEO Kevin Roberts said in an official statement.
This announcement by CA comes on the back of International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to significantly increase the T20 World Cup prize pool for the 2020 Women's Tournament in Australia by 320 per cent from the 2018 tournament, which will see the winner and finalist take home USD 1 million and USD 500,000 respectively.
"The quality and skill level of the women's game continues to grow and that was witnessed firsthand last week with the team breaking another world record, winning 18 consecutive ODI matches," Roberts said.
"I am proud to say that cricket is the most lucrative team sport for women in Australia, with nationally contracted players receiving an average wage of more than USD 1,80,000 a year including domestic duties, while WBBL and state only contracted players earn an average of more than USD 55,000," he added.
In 2017, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) had negotiated an outcome for all players, offering the same base rate of pay regardless of gender.
This saw a seven-fold increase in payments for elite female cricketers, from USD 7.5 million over the previous five-year period to USD 55 million over the term of the current collective bargaining agreement, which is in place until 2023.
Since the new MoU was negotiated, all of CA's domestic competitions give equal prize money where both men and women participate. This year's Big Bash leagues will split prize money topping USD 6,55,000, while the Marsh One-Day Cup and WNCL will split prize money of USD 5,30,566.
"I commend the ICC's commitment and while there is no doubt we are starting to see financial progress for our talented cricketers, we still have a way to go and CA will continue to play a role in driving equality for our athletes," Roberts said.
Last week, CA had announced a landmark parental leave policy aimed at supporting professional cricketers through pregnancy, adoption, and their return to play.
For players who fall pregnant, they can transfer to a non-playing role until they give birth and be eligible for 12-months paid parental leave.
( With inputs from ANI )