New Zealand women's team skipper Amy Satterthwaite on Tuesday hailed new Women's Master Agreement as a historic and progressive accord that provides another significant step forward for the game.
Satterthwaite said the agreement, reached in principle by New Zealand Cricket and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, represented a major breakthrough for women's cricket in the country, particularly in terms of financial consideration for players below the international level.
"I know people tend to focus on the White Ferns' (women's team nickname) contracts but the investment in domestic and developing players is an important step forward for women's cricket in New Zealand," Satterthwaite said.
"This is an agreement that recognises the need to grow the game at grassroots and domestic level in order to produce WHITE FERNS who excel on the world stage," she added.
The 32-year-old said the increase in remuneration for White Ferns players, more than doubling the total player payments under the previous agreement, was also a momentous advance for the women's game.
"This means all White Ferns can now ply their trade as fulltime professional cricketers as well as having the flexibility to participate in overseas leagues - which is a huge leap forward for all involved," Satterthwaite said.
"With the ICC Women's World Cup 2021 on the horizon, this will mean a great deal in terms of upskilling and training, and providing the best possible environment for preparing ourselves and the team," she added.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced a new agreement for women's cricketer, under the terms of the three-year agreement, the number and value of White Ferns contracts have increased; a new tier of contracted development players has been introduced and, for the first time, domestic players will be paid by their major associations.
"A total Player Payment Pool of $4.136m across the three-year term. Domestic players included for the first time, increasing the total number of players on contract to 79 - up from 15 in the previous agreement 17 (up from 15) centrally contracted White Ferns earning a minimum remuneration of between $44,000 and $64,000 annually. This includes a retainer payment, a retirement fund contribution and a promotional payment," NZC said in a statement.
"In addition, White Ferns can each earn up to $16,000 in match fees per year, 8 centrally contracted development players earning $7,500 for participating in NZC high-performance programmes and the two domestic competitions 54 (nine per major association) domestic players on domestic competition agreements worth $3,250 - in consideration of their availability for the Super Smash and Hallyburton Johnstone competitions. Players continuing to have the right to participate in overseas T20 competitions in Australia, England and India," the statement added.
( With inputs from ANI )