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Women’s AFL: Will pay rise for cricketers hurt AFL’s expansion plans?

Women’s AFL: Will pay rise for cricketers hurt AFL’s expansion plans? AS women’s football gains momentum, another code is upping the ante, with Cricket Australia announcing a pay increase for its female superstars starting next season.

The pay rise will make Australia’s leading female cricketers the best paid non-individual athletes in the country, with Test players earnings set to exceed six figures.

Indeed, Cricket Australia has pledged to almost double its commitment from a pool of $2.36 million to $4.23 million in what is set to be an unprecedented payday for female cricketers.

Some people may argue it’s about time. After all, our women have been world champions across all formats of the game in the last few years alone.

But the timing also corresponds with the AFL’s push into the same sporting market.

While it’s probably nothing more than mere coincidence, the battle ground to capture elite female athletes has certainly intensified.

The AFL’s rapid expansion has involved talent search programs, with an eye to poach talented athletes from other sports to join the inaugural 2017 competition.

Cricket has already taken a hit.

First, it was Big Bash League star Emma Kearney. And now it’s Jessica Cameron.

But unlike Kearney, who continued to play both sports, Cameron has taken a sojourn from cricket as she weighs up her future.

Last week in her debut for VFL side Diamond Creek, she bagged nine goals, capturing the attention of footballers and cricketers alike.

While she welcomed news of Cricket Australia’s commitment to increase female pay packets, Cameron said the overdue pay rise would do little to incentivise her return.

“I think if you play a sport for the money, you’re probably playing for the wrong reason,” she told Foxsports.com.au.

“Someone asked me if I was a little bit sad that I gave (cricket) up pretty much a year too early, but I’m certainly not. If I’m worrying about money then I’m not playing for the right reason anyway.” […]

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