A ground-breaking new player agreement is set to provide a huge boost to the earning power of women cricketers in New Zealand.
Under the terms of the three-year agreement, the number and value of White Ferns contracts has 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.
Reached in principle by New Zealand Cricket and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, the agreement will more than double the annual total players' payments made under the previous arrangement, up from $500,00 to $1.1 million.
There will be 17 centrally contracted White Ferns earning a minimum retainer of $44,000 up to $64,000, with the chance to add up to $16,000 in match fees. The top figure of $80,000 is up from the previous high of $48,000.
There will also be eight centrally contracted developing player contracts worth a minimum of $7500 for participating in New Zealand Cricket high-performance programmes and the two domestic competitions.
White Ferns captain Amy Satterthwaite said the increase was a major breakthrough for the women's game in New Zealand, beyond simply the national team itself.
"I know people tend to focus on the White Ferns' contracts but the investment in domestic and developing players is an important step forward for women's cricket in New Zealand," said Satterthwaite.
"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."
Allrounder Suzie Bates echoed Satterthwaite's sentiments, saying the new investment in domestic and developing players reflected a more structured and visionary approach to fostering talent.
"This agreement will hopefully make the game more attractive and accessible for young, aspiring players," she said.
"It provides a great framework and starting point for the eventual semi-professionalisation of the women's domestic game in New Zealand and that's probably the most important point in the entire agreement."
NZCPA chief executive Heath Mills believes the agreement is a huge step forward for the women's game.
"We're particularly pleased with the inclusion of domestic players in the contracting environment," he said.
"Providing a framework for 79 players to be part of the game's high-performance system is a major development that, quite apart from anything else, reflects a genuine appetite to grow the women's game here in New Zealand."