The unequally distributed prize money at the Sri Lankan Twenty20 World Cup has been criticised as sexist and unfair to the female team, Zach Workman-Brown reports.

The Southern Stars embrace the trophy at the Sri Lankan Twenty20 World Cup. Photo: cricketaustraliatv

The Australian women’s cricket team, the Southern Stars, have upstaged their English rivals as well as the Australian men when it comes to International Twenty20 cricket.

It came down to the wire as England needed six runs from the final ball, but the Southern Stars were able to keep them at bay and win the match by four runs, finishing on a total of 4/142.

A stellar victory for the women’s cricket team yet overshadowed by national cricket icons, such as Michael Hussey and Shane Watson who instantly spring to mind due to constant male dominated advertising of the sport in Australia.

Despite the female supremacy in terms of performances, the male athletes still bask in the glory.

In the acclaimed World Twenty20 Tournament, this year’s prize money amounted to $2.915 million. The male championship team claiming a one million pay check, while the female victors received only $60,000. The money speaks for itself.

Philip Pope, Cricket Australia Public Affairs Manager and spokesperson, said:  “It wasn’t a decision of Cricket Australia’s, it’s an International Cricket Council issue, it’s their competition, and the ICC would have thought long and hard about the prize money.”

Of the $2.915 million, up to three million was spread amongst the male national teams, leaving only $165,000 for the equivalent amount of female teams.

The prize money offered by the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been criticised by many as unfair and should be evenly distributed between men and woman.

English Captain, Charlotte Edwards, told the UK Telegraph: “This is something to look at after the event. I’m sure the ICC will do that.”

Mr. Pope said that at one point the women didn’t receive any prize money, but ensures things are changing and Cricket Australia wants to see girls, mums and women involved in cricket.

The impact Cricket Australia’s programs are having in Australia are seemingly effective, where Mr. Pope states the “biggest growing participation group in the census is in females playing cricket.”

This change is also reflected by the figures on Fox Sports of the Australian women’s final, matching the viewers of an A-League soccer game.

In what some hope will be replicated in cricket and other sports, the Australian Open removed the division in prize money between male and female competitors and similarly, the Australasian Tennis Grand Slam offers equal payments to both males and females, with each champion winning a hefty $2.3 million, and for each round below the reward remains alike.

Mr.Pope said: “It would be unrealistic for the prize money to be exactly the same,”  but ensures there is room for progress.

While the Australian women’s team enjoy the title of World Champions and are the first to ever win a back-to-back World Twenty20 tournament, the men are comforted by a $250,000 payday for making the semi-final round, in which they lost to the West Indies.

While the money is not that lucrative, the achievement is astounding.