Smriti Mandhana is not bothered by a pay cheque lower than her male counterparts as the India woman cricketer understands the revenue which women players get is “through men’s cricket”.
Mandhana, the ICC’s woman cricketer of the year, touched on the contentious issue of pay parity at a promotional here on Wednesday.
“We need to understand that the revenue which we get is through men’s cricket. The day women’s cricket starts getting revenue, I will be the first person to say that we need the same thing.
“But right now, we can’t say that,” she told reporters.
The male cricketers in the top bracket on BCCI central contracts list are entitled to an annual remuneration of Rs 7 crore, while a female cricketer in the highest category gets Rs 50 lakh for the same period.
“I don’t think any of my team-mates is thinking about this gap because the only focus right now is to win matches for India, get the crowd coming in, get the revenue. That is the thing which we are aiming for and if that happens, all other things are going to fall into place,” she said.
“And for that, we need to perform. It is unfair on our part to say that we need same pay, as it is not right. So I don’t think I want to comment on that gap. It’s not an issue now,” she added.
India will play a tri-series before the T20 World Cup begins in Australia and Mandhana feels that the tournament is important to finalise the team composition for the big event next month.
“Most of the players have played in Australia, so I think with India A touring Australia last month, that is also going to be a big help. But the tri-series is going to be a really important tournament, thinking about the team composition,” Mandhana said.
Mandhana added that the team has been planning for the T20 World Cup since the past one year. “...It is quite exciting… Looking forward to playing this World Cup with this team as it’s a new team with a mixture of experienced and new players.”
There was a phase in Mandhana’s career when she was unable to convert starts and she said she has worked on her shot-selection for better results. “Knowing that you can play your cover drive, on-drive and play over covers, those things used to always be like, ‘Should I hit it here or there?’ I had to limit my shots in the ODI format and understand what the team needs,” she said.
“One thing he (coach WV Raman) told me, ‘First try and play 30 overs in ODIs and 12 overs in T20Is, and you will end up getting a big score. But to get a big score, you need to be there at the crease.’
“It is helpful to work with Raman Sir,” she added.