It is with much pleasure that we welcome readers to the June 2022 edition (citation: SLT 2022/2) of our ground-breaking journal Sports Law and Taxation (SLT) and on-line database www.sportslawandtaxation.com.
In the last two decades, there has been a welcome explosion in women’s participation in sport and an growing following of it.
From Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka in tennis, to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in track and field, to Charlotte Edwards in cricket. The success of leading female athletes of late has not only increased the visibility of women in sport but has also shone the spotlight on how sport can serve as a platform of liberation for talented women, both in terms of exhibiting their sporting prowess on the international stage, as well as enhancing their social mobility through exploiting lucrative commercial opportunities.
However, women’s success in sport has highlighted, in particular, disparities in their financial rewards compared with those of their male counterparts. So, we asked one of our regular contributors, Dr Jason Haynes of the University of the West Indies in Barbados, to reflect on their situation in cricket, a sport close to his heart, as follows.
The 2022 edition of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Cricket World Cup, held in New Zealand, 4 March–3 April 2022, was an electric display of exceptional talent, brilliant on-field performances, and unparalleled competition between the world’s leading cricketers. The tournament saw the participation of eight teams: New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies. In the preliminary rounds, each team played each other once; the teams with the highest points at the end of the preliminary rounds – Australia, England, South Africa, and The West Indies – qualified for the semi-finals, whilst the winners of the two semi-finals, England and Australia, competed in the finals.
Australia, which ultimately won the tournament in the most emphatic fashion, remained unbeaten throughout the competition, defeating the West Indies in the semi-finals, and England in the finals by handsome margins. In fact, in Australia’s semi-final outing, they defeated the West Indies by a comprehensive 157 runs margin at the Basin Reserve, Wellington, with Alyssa Healy scoring an electric century – 129 off 125 balls. Australia’s dominance was replicated in the finals, which they won by 71 runs, with Alyssa Healy scoring 170 off 138 balls.
Healy’s outstanding performance – having scored the highest number of runs in the tournament, as well as the highest score in an ODI (One Day International) Championship final for either male or female tournaments – was truly special. With support from Rachel Haynes, who also opened the batting for Australia, Healy combined power with class, precision with endurance to produce what can objectively be described as world leading performances that are worthy of celebrating for many years to come. Her exceptional performances contributed, in large measure, to Australia securing their seventh ODI World Cup title, the most by any nation – a truly extraordinary feat.
England, whose World Cup campaign began quite rockily, with narrow losses against Australia (by 12 runs), the West Indies (by 7 runs) and South Africa (by 3 wickets), nonetheless demonstrated tremendous grit and determination by not only winning their remaining matches to qualify for the semi-finals, but also beating South Africa in the semi-finals to progress to play Australia in the finals. Thanks principally to Nat Sciver and Sophie Ecclestone, England overcame what must have been the scare of a lifetime to produce stunning performances in the latter half of the competition that ultimately led to even New Zealand, the host nation, being eliminated from the tournament after the preliminary rounds. Ecclestone’s left-arm flight deliveries bamboozled her opponents throughout the tournament, such that her ultimate tally of 21 wickets in the competition should hardly come as a surprise. The way she read the game, set up batters, and flighted deliveries to deceive even the most accomplished batters was second-to-none, and could easily be compared to England’s top male spin bowlers of recent vintage, such as Moeen Ali and Rashid Khan.
South Africa, the third-place team in the tournament, also demonstrated tremendous grit and determination, and, arguably, was one of the most exciting teams throughout the competition. The nail biting final preliminary match between South Africa and India was a match to behold, as so much was at stake. Had South Africa lost, they would have still qualified, but India would have qualified ahead of the West Indies. After scoring 274 in their 50 overs, India was poised to win the match, but for the intervention of South Africa’s Laura Wolvaardt, who scored a well-paced 80, in an electric finish in which the last runs were scored off the last ball of the match – both teams having batted 50 overs. Wolvaardt’s timing, placement, and overall consistency was impeccable to watch, as was her teammate’s, Marizanne Kapp, highly effective medium pace bowling. Overall, South Africa demonstrated a fight and resolve that the world has never seen of them before, which generated widespread praise from the viewing public, both in South Africa, and further afield.
Meanwhile, fourth-place finishers, the West Indies, began their tournament with thrilling final over wins against New Zealand and England, but this quickly transformed into lackluster performances in the latter half of the tournament. Despite the semi-final mauling at the hands of the indomitable Australia, however, the West Indies women should be immensely proud of their glimmers of hope – Hayley Matthews, their opening superstar batter, with a penchant for taking wickets with her off-spinners; as well as Deandra Dottin whose last over magic against New Zealand in the opening match of the tournament was simply spectacular. When it mattered, however, versus Pakistan and India, for example, against whom they lost, the West Indies showed a level of deference to spin that they would want to quickly forget. Clearly, the West Indies Women are a talented team, but, objectively, are too heavily reliant on their key players, Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin, and Stefanie Taylor, the latter of whom had a very ordinary tournament.
India will count themselves woefully unlucky to have missed out, at the hands of the West Indies, on a semi-final spot, as they lost their final preliminary game against South Africa on the last ball, thanks to a final over no ball. Team India, led by veteran cricketer Mithali Raj, had somewhat of a mixed-bag of a tournament, losing to New Zealand, England and Australia, but comprehensively winning against the West Indies, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Whilst they would have certainly expected to have performed better, the sublime form and performance of Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, in particular, is worth noting and, indeed, celebrating. Mandhana’s magnificent hundred against the West Indies was a sight to behold, as she demonstrated a unique ability to play on all sides of the wicket with ease and elegance. Sadly, though, cricket, being a game of uncertainties, was not kind to India on the occasion of their match against South Africa; losing on the last ball was devastating for the Indian players and fans all across the world. One could only wonder whether they may have, had they qualified, put up a better fight against Australia in the semi-finals than West Indies, who lost by a mammoth 157 runs.
New Zealand’s shock defeats against the West Indies, South Africa and, to a lesser extent, England (by one wicket) was difficult to watch, but especially difficult for the talented New Zealand players, who would have hoped to have won the tournament that was played at home. Although there were occasionally some very good performances, from the likes of Amy Satterthwaite and Suzie Bates, New Zealand did not manage to string together enough good performances on a consistent basis to advance to the semi-finals. This is, of course, regrettable, as New Zealand was a crowd favourite to win the World Cup, but it was not meant to be. The intervening period will, no doubt, be a time for deep introspection as the team rekindles its fighting spirit, which has served the cricketing world well over the years.
The other teams in the tournament – Pakistan and Bangladesh – demonstrated occasional glimpses of brilliance, particularly in respect of their spin bowling, but lacked consistently good performances, especially with the bat. That said, Bangladesh’s Salma Khatun’s tight and precise bowling throughout the tournament should not go unnoticed, nor should the exceptional bowling of Pakistan’s Nida Dar.
The 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup was special for many reasons. Apart from excellent individual and team performances, the World Cup ignited, across the cricketing world, a renewed interest in women’s cricket.
Never before has the world witnessed such talented female players on display in all their glory, competing in a sport that has traditionally been male dominated. The grit, determination, and overall thirst for excellence, shown by the women who competed in the tournament, is testament to the fact that women possess the skills and aptitude to do well in sport as much as their male counterparts. Through their exceptional performances, the world has taken notice.
No longer would their inclusion in the international sporting itinerary be viewed as a nice to have; what they bring to sport – their energy and sheer brilliance – is a must have in sport. That said, despite the undeniable increase in the spectator following of women’s cricket, the increased broadcasting of games globally, and significant infrastructural and human resource investment to develop the sport amongst women in the last decade, the historic lack of parity in pay between women and men remains an insidious and profoundly depressing feature of women’s participation in cricket, and in sport more generally.
In fact, in the lead up to the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup, whilst the ICC announced a 75% increase in prizemoney, the total on offer is US$ 6.5 million less than the men’s event in 2019. Whereas, in the 2019 Men’s ODI World Cup, US$ 10 million was distributed as prizemoney, the women participating in the 2022 World Cup were due to receive just about US$ 3.5 million in total, which works out to be US$ 1.32 million for the champions; US$ 600,000 for the runner’s up; and US$ 300,000 for the semi-finalists. In contrast, the champions of the 2019 men’s ODI World Cup received US$ 4 million; the runners up US$ 2 million; and the semi-finalists US$ 800,000.
Although the 75% increase in prizemoney for the women participating in this year’s ODI World Cup is clearly a big improvement on other iterations of ICC events, it does not nearly represent a big enough step to bridge the glaring disparity in pay between female and male cricketers.
Whilst pay disparity, linked to the immutable characteristic of sex, is not unique to cricket, the time is rife for a considered reflection on how pay disparity in the workplace significantly disadvantages women, who are already prejudiced by virtue of other forms of intersecting discrimination in the workplace, and care responsibilities in the home.
The failure to honour women’s prowess in sport through equal pay, in the same way as we would otherwise honour men’s prowess, is symptomatic of both a sporting, and wider societal problem: the devaluation of women’s worth on the altar of patriarchy cloaked as “balance sheet considerations”.
Indeed, the traditional explanation for the lack of parity in pay between men and women in sport has been that men’s sport tends to generate significantly more revenue than women’s sport, such that it is only fair that men benefit more from these revenues. What this explanation fails to account for, however, is that intrinsic value of work is not solely determined by revenue considerations, as we have seen in the family law context, where courts have increasingly placed value on women’s invisible work in the home, namely caring responsibilities. The fact that women’s work in the home may not be distinctly quantifiable in monetary terms and may not attract the gravitas that men’s work does, does not mean that women’s work is inherently of lesser value.
The same argument can be advanced in the sporting context; the fact that men’s sports generate significantly more revenue, in general, than female sports is not indicative of women’s prowess in sport being less valuable than that of men.
The balance sheet justification for pay disparity is also bereft of consideration of the fact that it is a combination of historical exclusion, stigma and discrimination associated with women’s participation in sport that has, in part, resulted in women’s sporting prowess not receiving equal recognition as that of men.
In addition, it is instructive to note that the development of women’s sport has been historically stymied by the reticence of investors, linked to flawed perceptions about women’s lack of consistency in the workplace, to invest in initiatives that provide girls and women with opportunities to excel at sport. These women and girls are now being penalized through pay disparity and through no fault of their own, for not having as many opportunities as men to excel in their vocation, and by parity of reasoning for not generating as much revenue as men who have had significantly more opportunities. Interestingly, there have been over 4,000 men ODI matches since the early 1970s, but only just over 1,000 women ODI matches.
Furthermore, balance sheet justifications for the gender pay gap in sport fail to account for the many intersecting systemic barriers which women face, both in society and in sport, which impinge on their ability to achieve professional status.
Amongst other things, female athletes face unsupportive, sexist and even misogynistic teachers, friends, partners, and coaches and wider societal influences which impede their progress in sport. Women in sport are also ten times more likely to be abused, sexually and otherwise, by their coaches and/or other superiors, which, again, stand as stumbling blocks that prevent them from achieving their fullest potential. In this context, therefore, for women to achieve professional status in sport is a truly remarkable feat, which must be honoured with, amongst other things, equal pay.
In the final analysis, having regard to the United States Soccer’s recent payment of US$ 24 million to US national female footballers and their promise to ensure parity of pay in future, it is certainly arguable that it is not that sporting bodies do not have the resources to pay female athletes; but rather, it is fundamentally a question of whether men, who are the principal leaders of most sporting bodies, value female athletes enough to afford them what they truly deserve: equal pay for equal work.
Regrettably, until such time that women, and society at large, take a stand against pay disparity, we will continue to hear the now banal sentiments of the ICC Chief Executive, Geoff Allardice, that world cricket is "coming from a long way back" towards pay equity but “we’re not there yet!”
So, much food for thought indeed for sports governing bodies and all of us who enjoy and value women’s sport!
Articles in this issue
Now we turn our attention to the articles that you will find in this issue.
As you will see from the Table of contents, we include a wide range of sports law and sports tax articles, which will engage our readers attention and provide them with many things to ponder.
In line with this Editorial, we would highlight, in particular, the article on “Gender (in)equality in sports” by Panayiotis Constantinou in which, in his introduction, he notes as follows.
“Gender (in)equality has become an increasingly discussed topic in the 21st century. It started as a reaction of many females who felt trampled, but eventually grew to become one of the largest social and political movements modern society has witnessed. The 21st century introduced a whole new dimension within the topic, the creation and expansion of the LGBTQI+ community and their vocal demands for equality. This increase in zest for the topic has resulted in it affecting several aspects of life, including – in a controversial manner – sports.
Undeniably, the past few decades have witnessed an “explosion” of monetary investment and public support in sports. It is evident, however, that this “explosion” occurred in an unequal manner, be it in terms of race or gender. Whilst racism does occur in sports – notably at referees and athletes of color by supporters – there is little inequality deriving from racism in comparison with inequality deriving from gender stereotypes.”
And he makes the following important point in the conclusion of his article.
“To conclude, gender (in)equality in sports varies from sport to sport. It is evident that gender equality still is largely an issue affecting promotion, investment and public support […]. Whilst there have been major global improvements in the sports industry regarding the topic of inequality, even “equal” sports such as the UFC or international sports organizations, which made significant improvements towards equality, like the Olympics, still need to keep their momentum going.”
On the sports tax side, we would mention, in particular, the second part of an article on “Current issues related to sportspersons under the “impatriate” and “lump sum” tax regimes in Italy” by Alberto Brazzalotto and Alessandro Leardini. In Part one they introduced this subject as follows.
“It is known that taxation is one of the most significant factors influencing the mobility of sportspersons and the location of their residence. In the latest years, several countries have implemented favourable tax measures aimed at attracting personal income taxpayers, thus intensifying tax competition. Italy has recently introduced two alternative optional special tax regimes for individuals moving their tax residence to Italy, namely:
– a tax incentive for qualifying inbound workers (“Impatriate Regime”); and
– a lump sum tax regime designed to attract high-net-worth individuals (“Lump Sum Regime”).
Both regimes, which are meant to make the transfer of tax residence to Italy more appealing from a tax perspective, are, in principle, applicable to sportspersons. Although these regimes were not introduced long ago, they have been widely applied and the number of individuals (including sportspersons) relocating to Italy under these regimes is expected to grow.”
And the authors in their concluding remarks to their article make the following points.
“The two special regimes are surely a good reason that can persuade sportspersons to relocate to Italy.
As mentioned, to identify which of the two regimes is more advantageous, an analysis of the nature and source of the income derived by the sportsperson (including items not related to sport performances) is required. The Impatriate Regime is designed to attract sportspersons who raise the majority of their income from sport performances carried on in Italy, regardless the size of the income. The Lump Sum Regime is rather dedicated to sportspersons whose main income are sourced outside Italy.
As the identification and the computation of the Italian source income is a delicate issue (especially for income arising from the disposal of image rights or endorsement income), sportspersons, who wish to move to Italy under the Lump Sum Regime, may ask the Italian Revenue Agency to confirm the tax treatment of specific items of income through an advance ruling procedure with a special office deputed to deal with taxpayers under this regime only. The ruling may be obtained even prior to the acquisition of Italian tax residence and does not imply an obligation to acquire Italian tax residence.
In our practice, most of taxpayers who opted for the regime have requested the ruling since it allows to obtain certainty as to both their eligibility to the regime and the way the Lump Sum provisions apply to each item of income (e.g., confirmation of the disregarded nature of a foreign entity).”
As always, we would welcome and value your contributions in the form of articles and topical case notes and commentaries for our journal and also for posting on the SLT dedicated website www.sportslawandtaxation.com which has an increasing-wide foot print!.
So, now read on and enjoy the June 2022 edition of SLT.
Dr. Rijkele Betten (Managing Editor)
Prof. Dr. Ian S. Blackshaw (Consulting Editor)
 Laura Jolly, “Prize money increased, but men still get more than double”, in: Cricket.com.au, 16 February 2022, available at https://www.cricket.com.au/news/womens-world-cup-prizemoney-icc-new-zealand-2022-increase-mens-tournament-england-2019/2022-02-16 |(accessed 20 June 2022).
 “Prize money for 2022 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup announced”, in: ICC, 15 February 2022, available at https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/2487028 (accessed 20 June 2022).
 Nik Savage, ““The next frontier”: Cricket World Cup’s glaring $9 million pay gap”, in: News.com.au, 2 March 2022, available at https://www.news.com.au/sport/cricket/the-next-frontier-cricket-world-cups-glaring-9-million-pay-gap/news-story/6e01acf5f561af240988cb011a2e9b2c (accessed 20 June 2022).
 U.S. Soccer and Women’s Players Agree to Settle Equal Pay Lawsuit, in: New York Times, available at U.S. Women's Players and U.S. Soccer Settle Equal Pay Lawsuit - The New York Times (nytimes.com) (accessed 20 June 2022).
 “International Cricket Council defends Women’s World Cup purse being just a third of men’s equivalent”, in: Stuff, 29 March 2022, available at https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/women-in-sport/128207845/international-cricket-council-defends-womens-world-cup-purse-being-just-a-third-of-mens-equivalent (accessed 20 June 2022).