New Delhi, Oct 4: The long wait for India women's cricketers ended today when newly-elected BCCI President Shashank Manohar announced central contracts for them, 11 years after the system was introduced for their male counterparts.
"It has been decided that women cricketers will get central contracts. We will continue to work on women's cricket and I hope this move would encourage more and more young girls to take up the sport," Manohar said.
The decision was long overdue, said former India captain Diana Edulji, but it was something that was expected after the approval of the BCCI finance committee. The issue of central contracts was slated to be discussed at the working committee meeting on August 28 but the meeting was adjourned due the presence of N Srinivasan.
"It is a welcome decision but a lot more needs to be done for women's cricket. This was expected too considering the finance committee had cleared it. Like the male cricketers, women cricketers too need a sense of job security. What remains to be seen is the amount they will get in the contracts," Edulji told PTI.
"It was long overdue as well. Cricketers of most Test playing nations already have contracts and that includes Pakistan."
Edulji hopes the Manohar-led BCCI, which took control of women's cricket in 2006, works more for the betterment of women's cricket and for starters pay heed to their long standing demand of one-time benefit scheme for former cricketers like herself.
"The issue of one-time benefit payments to former cricketers is equally important. I know some of the ex-players who are in desperate need for help. I hope BCCI looks into it at the earliest," she added.
"Another thing I expect from BCCI is to make sure the women's World T20, which will be held in India simultaneously with the men's competition, is organised properly," the 1983 Arjuna awardee added.