Jessica Cameron of Australia (L) bats during the Women's International Twenty20 match between the Australian Southern Stars and New Zealand at Junction Oval on January 24, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.
Jessica Cameron of Australia (L) bats during the Women's International Twenty20 match between the Australian Southern Stars and New Zealand at Junction Oval on January 24, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Graham Denholm / Getty Images

Stars players among best-paid female atheltes in Australia

WOMEN'S cricket in Australia hit paydirt on Tuesday, with 14 members of the national team, the Southern Stars, now among the best-paid paid female athletes in the country.

Kingaroy teenager Holly Ferling is one of those who will benefit following the major restructuring of the contract system which will give the leading players the potential to earn between $70,000 and $80,000 in the next 12 months.

The payday is a long way short of the minimum $250,000 a male contracted player earns annually, but Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said considering the "amount of time and energy" the Southern Stars players put into being the number one team in the world, the pay hikes were, "a landmark step in recognising their commitment and contribution to cricket as Australia's favourite sport".

The retainer for a leading female such as captain, Queenslander Jodie Fields, increases substantially from $15,000 to $52,000, while the minimum retainer for someone as young as Ferling rises from $5000 to $25,000.

The players will also bump up their earnings while they are representing Australia overseas.

Daily tour payments have been increased from $100 to $250 per day, and with 85 tour days scheduled over the next year, players have the potential to earn another $20,000 on top of their retainer.

They also receive a living allowance of up to $85-a-day depending on the country they are touring.

For a rookie fast bowler like Ferling, who turned 17 only last December, the announcement in Sydney capped off what had already been a memorable day after she was named the squad to contest the Ashes in England in August.

"What a day - it's hard to find words to describe how I feel," said Ferling, who took nine wickets at 10.55, including two three-wicket hauls, during the World Cup success in India earlier this year.

"It's a massive, massive boost for the game here, and just reward for all those girls like Jodie who have managed to still keep playing the game at the highest level while trying to make a living outside of the game. It's a fantastic day for women's cricket.

"It (the money) will certainly go a long way in helping me get through uni when I start next year."

But before Ferling, who has been clocked bowling at 125km/h, can think about uni, she has to finish Year 12 - that means she could find herself doing homework during the Ashes series.

"I've got to work hard both on and off the field," she said with a laugh.

"I think I only arrive back home from England a couple of days before my final exams - we'll cross the bridge when we get to it.

"We've got to beat England first to retain the Ashes we won in 2011, and that will be tough because games between the sides are always close."

 

National contract list for 2013-14

  • Alex Blackwell
  • Jess Cameron
  • Sarah Coyte
  • Holly Ferling
  • Jodie Fields
  • Rachael Haynes
  • Alyssa Healy
  • Julie Hunter
  • Jess Jonassen
  • Meg Lanning
  • Erin Osborne
  • Ellyse Perry
  • Megan Schutt
  • Elyse Villani

Ashes squad

  • Jodie Fields (capt)
  • Alex Blackwell (vice-capt)
  • Jess Cameron
  • Sarah Coyte
  • Sarah Elliott (Test only)
  • Holly Ferling
  • Rachael Haynes
  • Alyssa Healy
  • Julie Hunter
  • Jess Jonassen
  • Meg Lanning
  • Erin Osborne
  • Ellyse Perry
  • Megan Schutt
  • Elyse Villani
     

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