Cricket Australia has offered to more than double what it pays international women players, to around £110,000, the latest move in a long-running pay dispute with the players’ union.
The package will allow women a greater chance to be full-time professionals, chief executive James Sutherland said.
Men’s pay will also be increased under the proposed deal, with internationals to earn £504,000 by 2021-22.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association said the offer needed closer scrutiny.
A bitter dispute between Cricket Australia (CA) and the ACA has lasted for several months.
Leading male and female players, including both captains, have also rejected CA’s attempt to deal with the players directly, bypassing the ACA, and have insisted that the union be involved.
With the current pay deal expiring at the end of June, Sutherland said the proposed five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – the first such agreement to encompass female players – had “gender equity at its heart”.
Since 1997, elite male players have earned a fixed percentage of Australian cricket’s revenue – so that they directly benefit when CA has received an upturn in income, such as from television rights sales.
But while the ACA wants to extend the revenue-sharing model to include women, CA wants to switch to a system whereby players receive a guaranteed minimum amount instead.
What is Cricket Australia’s offer?
CA’s proposed deal would see international women cricketers’ average pay jump from A$79,000 (£48,800) to A$179,000 (£110,580) from 1 July, with an expectation that it will rise to A$210,000 (£129,700) by 2021, while fees for the domestic Women’s National Cricket League and Women’s Big Bash would also rise.
Men who represent Australia at international level would see their average yearly retainer rise to A$816,000 (£504,000) by 2021-22.
With match fees and performance bonuses, the expected average income for these players, which would include Big Bash League payments, would increase by 25% to A$1.45m (£895,680) over the same period.
What is the ACA’s response?
The ACA said there was a lack of detail in CA’s proposals.
“The way in which these changes will be both funded and embedded in the MOU does require much closer scrutiny,” ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson said in a statement.
“There is a lot of fine print to examine and a lot more forecast information still needed by the players.”
Sutherland declined to specify over whether the proposed new MOU would continue to include an annual grant from CA to fund the ACA, as has previously been the case.
In December, Cricket Australia defended its policy of requiring its female players to declare if they are pregnant before signing a central contract – another issue raised by the ACA.