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The ECB have been hit by gender pay gap concerns ahead of the start of the brand new Hundred competition, which is set to get underway tomorrow.

The tournament involves eight men's and women's teams and will be kicked off with the Oval Invincibles Women taking on the Manchester Originals Women at the Oval.

The vast majority of men's and women's games are set to take place as double-headers and the ECB have announced that the men and women will get an equal share of the prize money.

However, the Telegraph are reporting that female players have accused the ECB of failing to respond to requests for support from part-time players.

There are concerns over the gender pay gap for the ECB's new Hundred tournament, with a number of part-time female players unable to work their regular jobs for the duration of the competition
(Image: Getty Images for ECB)

The report states that at least five female players at each of the eight teams involved in The Hundred do not have professional contracts and are at the lower end of the pay scale.

Male players will earn between £100,000 and £24,000 for their involvement in the competition, while female players will earn between £15,000 and £3,600.

As a result of not having a professional contract, a lot of those female players have regular jobs outside of cricket.

The Hundred is due to start tomorrow
(Image: Getty Images for ECB)

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However, they will not be able to work those jobs for the duration of the five-week tournament, with the teams expected to stay in Covid-safe environments.

It is noted that some players have taken the time off as annual leave, while others have had to ask for more leave.

It is stated that at least one of the players was forced to choose between playing in the competition and leaving their job.

The ECB offered 11 Australian women's players, including Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy, a £10,000 'disturbance fee' in addition to their original salary
(Image: Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

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There is also frustration among players after it emerged that the ECB had offered so-called 'disturbance fees' of £10,000 to the 11 Australian women's players who were originally drafted to feature in the tournament.

The likes of Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry were offered the fee in addition to their £15,000 salaries but all 11 have since pulled out.

The Telegraph adds that several players, including members of the England women's team, asked the ECB if that 'disturbance fee' money could be used to support those earning the least.

Female players will earn between £15,000 and £3,600 for their involvement in the tournament
(Image: Getty Images for ECB)

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England bowler Kate Cross told the Telegraph: "There are only five domestically-contracted girls earning a good wage now.

"And the Covid situation is not helping because you’ve got some girls who are having to pull out of work now, who are probably on the lower end of the money payments [for The Hundred].

"There’s no subsidy for them, as they are not allowed to go out of the environment and work.

England star Kate Cross will play for the Manchester Originals and she has called on the ECB to provide a "subsidy" for part-time players who are not able to work their regular jobs for the duration of the Hundred

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"So the ECB probably need to address that. If they want to move forward, even more so, I think that’s where they’re probably going to need to start investing.

"The situation that came out of the fact that the [Australian women were no longer being offered the overseas disturbance fee] was, can the money that is now not being used, be used to top up those lowest contracted girls? And I don’t know, because I didn’t get an answer.

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"And that’s where I worry. I don’t want girls to drop out of cricket because they can’t afford to play.

"Until those lower brackets are topped up, you could have some girls dropping out of this [tournament] because ultimately it’s not worth their while with work. And that’s the real shame for me.

"There must be many ways around it but, yeah, that’s the situation that we’re in."