UK Politics

Maria Miller says 'big disparity' in women's cricket pay 'not right'

Heather Knight of England plays a shot during the NatWest Women's International T20 Series match between England Women and West Indies Women at Arundel
Image caption Maria Miller has written to broadcasters urging them not to cut their coverage of women's sport

The new culture secretary has spoken out about the "big disparity" between the pay and prize money offered to men and women cricketers.

Maria Miller made the remarks on Twitter after the England women's cricket team beat Pakistan in their opening World Twenty20 match.

In what was seen as an emphatic victory, England beat their opponents by 43 runs in Galle, Sri Lanka.

Ms Miller said pay and prize levels should be reviewed.

In her first ever tweet she wrote: "Well done to Eng women's cricket team! But big disparity in allowance/prize £ between them + men not right."

'Part-time sport'

Ms Miller, who is also the minister for women and equalities, added that cricket's international governing body, the ICC, "must review" the situation.

The World Twenty20 competition is taking place for both men and women simultaneously.

The men who are playing receive £61 per day during the tournament for food and living costs, the women £37.

In terms of tournament prize money, the winning men's team will take home £616,000, with £40,000 going to the women.

The England women's captain Charlotte Edwards has already said the ICC should look at the situation after the tournament, but did not want the debate to distract her team from their matches.

"It's not about the money for us. If we played for money we would be playing different sports," she told the BBC.

In a column for the BBC Sport website published earlier this week, the former men's England cricket captain Alec Stewart wrote:

"I don't have a problem with the discrepancy between the prize money for the men's and women's World Twenty20 competitions. Being brutally honest, you have to look at what brings in the money.

"Do the TV companies pay all this money to watch the women or is it to watch the men? I'm a fan of women's cricket and I want to see it promoted, but it's generally still a part-time sport around the world."

Earlier this month, when she was appointed to the cabinet, Maria Miller wrote to broadcasters urging them not to cut their coverage of women's sport.

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