Cape Town - Dane van Niekerk has responded to suggestions from Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting CEO Thabang Moroe that South Africa's women cricketers should earn the same as the men.
Moroe told Sport24 last week that, while it was not possible yet, ensuring equal pay for men and women was a responsibility that CSA had to its players.
That conversation coincided with CSA's negotiations with the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) over a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would seek to develop a revenue sharing model between CSA and the country's players.
The suggestion that the women should be paid the same as the men caused a stir among cricket fans on social media, with many arguing that it was a ludicrous proposal given the obvious commercial strength of the men's game compared to that of the women's.
Speaking on Wednesday ahead of the Proteas women's tour to England, Moroe re-iterated that equal pay was not an immediate possibility, but rather a long-term goal.
Van Niekerk, the captain of the national side, acknowledged that some of the reaction to Moroe's comments last week had been hurtful.
"We are realistic and we're not living in a dream world where we think we bring in the same revenue as the men and we know that," Van Niekerk told reporters in Johannesburg.
"We understand that everything is not going to happen overnight, but our job is to set up women's cricket for the generations to come and that is our goal. If it doesn't happen in my era then I'm not bothered, but I'm just glad that Thabang is passionate about women's cricket.
"I was disappointed with some of the comments that were made.
"We're all adults and we do have lives outside of cricket. We just want to make a good living and enjoy our cricket and have fun doing that. This takes up a lot of time in your life, but I am excited with everything that is happening."
Part of the new MoU between CSA and SACA will seek to set up a new financial model that gives the women Proteas an opportunity to share in on the revenue the sport creates in the country.
"My job is to get women's cricket where it deserves to be and if that takes time, hard work and some tough conversations then I'm happy to have them," Van Niekerk added.
The Proteas will take on England in 3 ODIs from June 9-15.