The England Women’s international side and all eight women’s regions have held early season meetings with the PCA to discuss future priorities. WATCH VIDEO
The discussions form a crucial time in the calendar, allowing the Players’ Association to update players on progress and to attain the thoughts and concerns from the squads on numerous key areas.
Lots of topics were covered in the sessions as the players were invited to ask questions of their players’ union and hold them to account. In a slightly changed format, this year’s meetings included smaller breakout sessions to encourage further opinions and players were also updated on EDI education and player data and collective rights.
The PCA has been meticulously collecting data from each early season meeting to understand the players’ goals for the future ahead of important upcoming negotiations with stakeholders across both domestic and international cricket, including the Regional Partnership Agreement.
With the PCA Rep playing a key role in each of the meetings, common themes of discussion included the need for fully professional squads, introduction of rookie contracts and increased minimum salaries.
The requirement for access to improved training facilities and better pitches was a collective point of debate while the changing nature of women’s cricket around the world and the introduction of new tournaments was discussed alongside how The Hundred and its salaries are viewed.
Another popular topic deliberated over during the sessions was maternity cover. The PCA is currently lobbying the ECB for fit for purpose contractual maternity support for players.
All 18 men’s counties and eight women’s regions have now been visited by the players’ union, with ongoing EDI education and Alcohol Awareness sessions continuing throughout the summer.
PCA Head of Player Rights and Women’s Cricket, Emma Reid, said: “The early season meetings this year were extremely important as we look to secure long term employment arrangements through the next Regional Partnership Agreement and England Women’s negotiations in the near future, and look to address some areas of inequity that currently exist.
“With new competitions and opportunities arising around the world in the women’s game, we need to make sure that the women’s players in this country are being rewarded fairly and appropriately.
“Our role is to attain the thoughts and feelings of the dressing rooms and make sure we can progress the professionalisation of the women’s game to a point where we have fully professional domestic squads.
“The players were full of insightful questions and it was a pleasure seeing them want to improve the current landscape for future women cricketers.”
Central Sparks bowler, Katie George, said: “We had a great breakout session talking about our priorities and it was really good to get everyone’s opinions heard.
“It’s great to have these discussions in a safe space. The standard of cricket has gone up and the media attention has too but for that to continue we need to make sure we aren’t put out on 35 metre boundaries and on practise wickets because that won’t help develop the game.
“The PCA do the tough conversations for us which is great, sometimes they know what’s best for you before you realise and having that support network you can access whenever you need is pivotal.”