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International women's cricket is about to get a lot more money.

The Australian women’s cricket team was named number one in the world at the beginning of October this year. But as of 2016, international women’s cricket will be the winners from recent International Cricket upgrades and changes.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) released a report last week explaining the outcomes of the ICC Board and Committee meetings, and things are looking up for the women.

The ICC’s release said: “The Board…recognised the improved standard and professionaliam in women’s cricket.”

Hallelujah, they’ve recognised that women also do sport really, really well.

They’ve finally recognised them. Image via @southernstars Instagram.

As a result they have approved a ‘five-fold increase’ in the prize money allocated to the six ICC women’s events that will be held between 2016 – 2023. That’s five times more money that will be injected in to a women’s sports competition on the international stage.

From next year, the women will be competing for a total prize money pool of $4.4 million. This will include $1 million of prize money for the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2017.

The board also said there would be changes to the format of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. It will be an eight team tournament and will be played as a round-robin. Four teams will make it to the semi-finals and then onto the final.

This change means that now there will be 31 matches, as opposed to the 23 that were played in 2013. Every team will be guaranteed a minimum of seven matches.

The other big change is that there will be a second edition of the ICC Women’s Championship played after 2017. The Board thinks that this Championship has really improved the standard of women’s cricket. All teams will get to play at least 21 One Day International games over two years. At the moment, the Championship is also a qualification platform to the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. The top four teams from the tournament will automatically qualify.

The Southern Stars will be happy about this. Image via @southernstars Instagram.

And the final, big, approval to come from the meetings was that the women’s playing conditions should adopt all of the changes that the men had introduced to them in June this year.

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 The only difference is that the batting Power Play will remain in the women’s One Day International matches and there will still be four fielders outside the circle between overs 41 – 50.

So there you have it. The women’s cricket is finally getting the upgrade it deserves.

The Women’s World Cup 2017 format has been approved, the Women’s Championship will continue after 2017 and it will be funded by the ICC. Plus, the most important win – more prize money for the women.

And in other sporting news this week…

After a broken wrist in June, Aussie golden girl Sally Pearson has returned to the track this week in the hopes of defending her title in the 100m hurdles in Rio next year. Sally became the 10th Australian female track and field athlete to take out Olympic gold at the London Olympics in 2012. The 29-year-old suffered the injury in June, requiring two operations, a metal plate in her wrist and a screw through her scaphoid bone whilst competing at an event in Rome.

The women’s soccer league competition is officially in full swing after last weekend’s opening rounds, kicking off a season that is predicted to be the most competitive yet. The addition of a new team to the competition, a new broadcast deal and a reduced 14-match comp format will no doubt inject life and new dynamics into the league, says Matilda’s striker Kyah Simon. The Matilda’s world cup heroics this year and an influx of international talent are set to make this season of the Westfield W-league the most exciting in it’s eight season history.

The ongoing pay disparity between men and women’s sports in Australia has been brought into headlines again with the cricket industry facing criticism for unfair treatment of its women’s team. Despite the female Australian cricket team maintaining a number one world ranking, the Daily Telegraph reported over the weekend that Australian cricketers are in for a $70 million windfall, with all of the money to be allocated to the men’s team.

What sport have you been watching or playing this week?

Check out our Aussie cricketers being number one…

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