Aussie women could reap $2m World T20 bounty
Cricket superstar Ellyse Perry has declared the Aussie women's team don't want to play for "handouts" and crave the expectation that will come with a whopping World Cup prize packet as big as the men.
Australian cricket bosses announced on Tuesday they will ensure Perry's team take home over $2 million if they take win the historic World Twenty20 tournament on home soil later this summer.
The International Cricket Council confirmed a 320 per cent increase for prizemoney to see the winners take home over $1.4 million, but Cricket Australia will then chip in a further $885,000 to match the bounty on offer for Aaron Finch's team in the corresponding male tournament later next year.
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Achieving prizemoney parity with the men is a stunning endorsement for the women's game, and Perry insists Australia's Southern Stars are not taking the historic advancement lightly.
More money means more pressure in the cut and thrust of professional sport, and Perry does not want women's cricketers to be exempt from scrutiny.
"I really hope it does (increase expectations) to be honest. I don't think any of us want to play for handouts so to speak," Perry said.
"I think you just look at the notion of the World Cup Final on March 8th and that's about filling the MCG (with 100,000 people on international women's day).
"To me that's a nod to it being a genuine event and a spectacle and something of great entertainment for a large number of people. I really hope that's the case.
"It's recognition that the women's game is an important component of cricket not just in Australia, but globally and with that adds responsibility and expectation on the players … and also the standard of play that's going to be expected as well."
Fellow Aussie star Alyssa Healy says the prizemoney boon is recognition that hard work is paying off.
"We're doing everything we can as an Australian system even in the domestic system to make sure we're playing the game the right way and playing the game people want to watch," said Healy.
"We are making sure we're doing everything individually to make sure we're better athletes and better cricketers. It does come with expectation but at the same time it's a nice reality check to say what we're doing is really good and if we can just keep building on that (bigger things are on the horizon)."