Smriti Mandhana, while launching Bata’s Power sports range collection in Mumbai, also addressed in right earnest the issue of pay disparity between male and female cricketers.
The face of Bata’s Power sports range since 2018, Smriti on Wednesday launched the new Power fitness collection for 2020.
“As an athlete, it is critical to be comfortable in your feet and be quick to respond to every strike. I have tested the collection and found it to be the best match for my game. The collection has been exclusively designed for everyone who is looking for a partner for their fitness needs. Running, walking, training, whatever your fitness is, there is a Power for you. The shoes will keep you light on your feet, and the 3-layer outsole foam technology in Power Move gives you an added advantage in terms of bounce and agility,” Smriti said about the brand.
However, as the media opportunity came close on the heels of the announcement of the annual contract by the Board of Control for Cricket in India last week, Smriti was faced with the obvious question of pay disparity between the male and female cricketers.
The women cricketers get an annual retainership of ₹ 50 lakh, ₹ 30 lakh and ₹ 10 lakh in the A, B and C categories respectively as against the men’s pay packages of ₹ 7 crore for A+ category, ₹ 5 crore for A, ₹ 3 crore for B and ₹ 1 crore for C categories.
Smriti logically accepted the disparity in paycheques as she understands that the “revenue which we get is through men’s cricket”, adds PTI.
Smriti, the International Cricket Council’s woman cricketer of the year, touched on the contentious issue of pay parity at the unveiling of Bata’s new range of shoes here on Wednesday.
“We need to understand that the revenue which we get is through men’s cricket. The day women’s cricket starts getting revenue, I will be the first person to say that we need the same thing. But right now, we can’t say that,” she told reporters. “I don’t think any of the teammates is thinking about this gap because the only focus right now is to win matches for India, get the crowd coming in, get the revenue. That is the thing which we are aiming for and if that happens all other things are going to fall in place.
“And for that, we need to perform. It is unfair on our part to say that we need the same pay, it is not right. So I don’t think I want to comment on that gap,” she added.