An official has said the move represents a first step into a "new era of gender equality" in Indian cricket. The captain of the women's team has called it a "red letter day."
In a landmark decision, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced Thursday that women cricketers will be paid the same international match fee as their male counterparts.
"We are implementing pay equity policy for our contracted BCCI women cricketers. 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," the Board's Secretary Jay Shah said in a statement published on Twitter on Thursday.
Shah added that it was a first step towards "tackling discrimination."
'Red letter day' for cricket in India
Cricket is an immensely popular sport in the South Asian nation.
However, the Indian cricketing scene has historically been male-dominated.
Male cricketers often enjoy a star status unlike their women counterparts. They have a huge commercial appeal and are in demand for brand endorsements.
Last year, local media reports had pointed out the staggering pay gap between male and female cricketers — highlighting that as per BCCI annual contracts, the country's top male cricketers get Rs 7 crore (70 million rupee; $850,000; €845,000) whereas the top women cricketers get only Rs 50 lakh (5 million rupee; $60,500; €60,000)
The captain of the Indian women's cricket team, Harmanpreet Kaur, reacted to Thursday's announcement, calling it a "red letter day" for women's cricket in the country.
"Truly a red letter day for Women’s Cricket in India with pay parity announced for women and men,” she said in a tweet.
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.