Australian women cricketers have received a pay rise and are now among the highest-paid athletes in women’s team sport. Members of the Southern Stars women’s cricket team will see a maximum retainer rise from $49,000 to $65,00, with a minimum rise of $19,000 to $40,000.

The Stars’ performance against the West Indies in the World T20 final had 156,000 viewers on Fox Sports. Although the Stars were beaten, they attracted a viewing audience larger than the A League’s pay TV average of 62,000.

Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association have provided elite female players with improved travel and accommodation benefits, and an updated pregnancy policy.

“Cricket is a sport for all Australians and Cricket Australia will continue to invest heavily in the women’s game in the coming years,” Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said.

“Of the more than 1.2 million people of all ages currently playing cricket in Australia almost a quarter of them are women and girls.”

The pay rise means the best Southern Stars players will earn more than $100,000 a year. Sutherland praised the team and said the rise has been earned through the ratings.

“The Women’s Big Bash League has created a revolution with outstanding ratings that make it the most popular women’s team sport in the country,” he said.