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NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India’s men and women cricket teams will be paid the same appearance fees to represent their country, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah said on Thursday.

The agreement will see women’s players at international level receive the same match fees as men across all formats – 1,500,000 rupees ($18,225) for tests, 600,000 rupees for one-day internationals and 300,000 for Twenty20 internationals.

“We are implementing pay equity policy for our contracted BCCI women cricketers,” Shaw wrote in a post on Twitter.

“The match fee for both men and women cricketers will be same as we move into a new era of gender equality in Indian cricket.”

Shah did not say whether there would be changes to the contract system for women.

Under their current annual contracts, women cricketers in the highest bracket earn 5 million rupees, while Grade B players take home 3 million and Grade C, 1 million.

Men in the Grade A+ bracket are paid 70 million, with those in Grades A, B and C taking home 50 million, 30 million and 10 million respectively, meaning the lowest graded male cricketers still earn twice as much as their top-tier women counterparts.

Former India women team captain Mithali Raj hailed the announcement on Twitter as “historic”.

“The pay equity policy along with the (Women’s Indian Premier League) next year, we are ushering a new era for women’s cricket in India,” Raj wrote.

In July, New Zealand Cricket and the country’s players’ association signed a five-year deal that will see male and female cricketers receive equal pay.

Earlier this year, the BCCI said a fully fledged women’s IPL could begin as early as next year.

(Reporting by Tanvi Mehta and Aadi Nair; editing by John Stonestreet, Alex Richardson and Nick Macfie)

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