Never has women's cricket in India been celebrated in this manner before. Even though the Mithali Raj-led India women's cricket team narrowly lost to England in the final of the Women's World Cup 2017 on Sunday, July 23, the shining Indian women are set to receive their much-needed accolades.
Plenty of cash prizes are announced for the team from the likes of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as well as several state governments.
So proud. Womens cricket in India has received the MUCH NEEDED attention. Long way to go, girls! #wwc17 #womensworldcup #womenpower #cricket #india #mithaliraj #bcciwomen #cricketworldcup . . . . @Regrann from @bcciwomen - Incredible journey @bcciwomen . You won millions of hearts today ?? - #regrann
Also, a huge felicitation is being planned for the entire team later this week and even a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains on cards. The prospect of beginning the much-anticipated women's Indian Premier League (IPL) also looms.
Mithali, Harmanpreet Kaur, Sushma Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma and the rest of the India women's cricket army are set to return to India on Wednesday.
"They lost the final but made the nation proud with their performance. The BCCI will organise a felicitation for the team and we are also trying to fix a meeting with Prime Minister Modi," the Press Trust of India quoted a BCCI official as saying on Monday.
"There is a feeling (among the BCCI and Committee of Administrators) that the surge in popularity of the women's game should be cashed in on. One way to build on the World Cup gains is by having a women's IPL.
"The focus now should immediately turn to the World T20 next year," the official added.
List of cash prizes announced so far
Announced by the BCCI
- Each player of the team: Rs 50 lakh
- Each support staff: Rs 25 lakh
By Madhya Pradesh government, led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan
- Entire India women's cricket team: Rs 50 lakh
Punjab government, led by Amarinder Singh
- Harmanpreet Kaur: Rs 5 lakh.
- The hotshot batter has also been offered the post of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Punjab Police.
Possible salary increment discussed
The CoA Chairman Vinod Rai has spoken about a possible change in the women's salary structure. The numbers could only rise now and deservedly so.
As per reports, during the Women's Cricket World Cup 2017, each player of the India Women's Cricket team received just Rs 1 lakh per match. Also, the players' payment structure has been divided into two grades.
While Grade A salary is Rs 15 lakh, the Grade B salary is worth Rs 10 lakh.
A fresh salary could be decided for the women's team later this year.
"The board will surely look into the women's match fees and gradation payment issues post their superlative show in the World Cup," said Vinod Rai to the Times of India.
"The international women cricketers won't be the only ones to get a hike. Even the domestic players will be getting a hike and it would be discussed at the appropriate place for sure," added BCCI Acting President CK Khanna.