England's World Cup winning women's team set to double salary by 2021

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England’s elite female players will be paid twice as much in 2021 as they were during last year’s World Cup win, if plans come to fruition.

Since February, 10 of the 22 contracted England players have had their wages increased by at least 50%, after the money available was raised by 40%.

“It’s a sign of how professional the women’s game is going,” England captain Heather Knight told BBC Sport.

England’s three-match series against South Africa starts on Saturday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also confirmed a bonus pot for series wins has also been introduced for the the first time.

England to beat India by nine runs to win the Women's World Cup at Lord's in July last year

“It’s a sign of how brilliant last year was as well and how many people were interested in where the game’s going,” added Knight.

The Professional Cricketers’ Association confirmed the new contracts are until the end of 2019, while negotiations for 2020 and beyond ongoing.

The list of 22 includes teenage left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, who turned 19 in May and is added to the list of contracted players for the first time, while three young players – Katie George, Alice Davidson-Richards and Freya Davies – have been awarded rookie contracts.

In April, Knight, Natalie Sciver and Anya Shrubsole were named among Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year.

“At the moment it’s not about equal pay [for women], but we should be bold – I’m always looking to be ahead of other women’s team sports at international level – and demonstrate a commitment to closing that gap with a bit of urgency,” said ECB director of women’s cricket Clare Connor.

“The objective is to get to a situation in 2020 – when the new investment in the game kicks in. It’s the direction of travel that’s important.”

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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