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Wisden's backing is great, but pay parity way off, admits skipper

By Phil Blanche

England captain Heather Knight feels pay parity between male and female cricketers remains a "long way off" despite Wisden's historic recognition of the women's game.

Knight and her fellow World Cup winners Natalie Sciver and Anya Shrubsole were this week named among Wisden's five Cricketers of the Year after a transformative 2017 for women's cricket.

Shrubsole also became the first woman to grace the cover of the Almanack in its 155th edition in the wake of the England-India World Cup final gaining a peak television audience of 1.1million viewers.

But asked about the issue of pay parity, Knight said: "I still think it's a long way off.

"It's important to realise that women's cricket has only been professional for three years, for us especially. It is in its infancy of being a professional sport.

"The men's game was the same when it went professional all those years ago and it takes a lot of time for things to develop.

"We accept at the moment we haven't got the same commercial value as the men.

"But there's no reason why the women's game can't keep growing and hopefully it will eventually catch up with the men."

Knight is confident that the massive strides made by women's cricket will continue. "You never think as a kid you're going to play at Lord's, let alone in front of a full crowd," Knight said.

"It was a very special day and made me think what it meant to the sport and women's sport in general."

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