PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – In order for West Indies’ female cricketers to be better prepared for competition, improve their performance and get bigger salaries, the women’s game needs to attract more investment, says Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt.
And he has hinted at changes to come.
Speaking on i95FM Sports, Skerritt agreed there was need for more competitive cricket for the women to improve their fitness, and therefore their playing, and acknowledged the disparity in pay between professionals working with the West Indies men’s and women’s squads.
But he stressed that “the problem still is that women’s cricket needs money, it needs investment”.
“It needs a lot of things but it needs investment. More cricket needs to be played regionally. The players come back from a tour, they go home for a little while…. Most of the players end up not doing much work, they go back to a preparation camp, go off on another tour, and a lot of the times they come back perhaps having lost fitness, because there is no big set of cricket that they can enter into when they go home,” he said, contending that West Indies Women have not “fallen back” but have “marked time” while some of the other teams with which they competed neck and neck have moved forward.
Skerritt said he had also discovered that there was “quite a gap” between the level of pay for coaches, managers, physiotherapists and other professionals working with the men’s team and women’s team.
“Some people with the same skill are getting less pay with the women’s team. So, some of the professionals didn’t really want to work with the women’s team, not because they don’t want to work with the women but because they’re going to get paid less than if they got a job with the men’s team. All of that has to change and for that to change you need money,” he said.
“So, there’re a lot of intrinsic problems which are not going to be fixed overnight.”
The CWI boss said efforts were ongoing to increase pay for West Indies Women cricketers, noting that process had started even before his administration took office in March 2019.
“That has to continue. Women play less cricket…but, ultimately, we have to carry up the respect and the remuneration for women,” he said.
Skerritt disclosed that CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams had a report pending on women’s cricket and “there will be some things happening relative to women’s cricket that might sound a little bit different”.
West Indies Women won their first T20 World Cup title in 2016, but failed in their title defence in 2018 when they struck out at the semi-final stage.
Then earlier this year, they won just one of their four group matches— beating minnows Thailand in their opener before losing to Pakistan, England and South Africa—to finish third in the preliminaries of the tournament and miss out on the semi-finals for the first time in six appearances. (CMC)