On Thursday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealed that 41 women cricketers have now signed full-time domestic contracts with ECB’s eight regional hubs. The move has now taken the total tally of professional women cricketers in the country to 58.
In June, 25 cricketers had signed regional contracts for the season concerning the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. It was then disclosed that those deals would be converted to full-time agreements with another 16 players now added in the list.
The ECB Managing Director of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, expressed her happiness on the latest development. Connor said that the 41 young women would be provided with the best possible facilities to train and improve the skills.
“We’re delighted that these 41 young women are able to call themselves full-time professional cricketers, and we wish them every success. In terms of the health of women’s cricket in England and Wales, we cannot overestimate the importance of these 41 players having the opportunity to train and work on their skills full-time, with access to high-quality coaching and facilities across the eight regions,” said Connor as quoted by Cricbuzz.
“When you add in the profile opportunity of The Hundred next year, the landscape looks even more exciting. After a challenging year in the wake of the pandemic, I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made in 2020, just one year after launching our action plan to transform women’s and girls’ cricket,” she added.
Here are the new full-time contracts details:
Northern Diamonds: Hollie Armitage, Beth Langston, Linsey Smith, Phoebe Graham, Jenny Gunn
Central Sparks: Evelyn Jones, Marie Kelly, Issy Wong, Emily Arlott, Gwenan Davies
Thunder: Georgie Boyce, Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld, Hannah Jones
Southern Vipers: Georgia Adams, Tara Norris, Paige Scholfield, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier
South East Stars: Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophia Dunkley, Tash Farrant, Bryony Smith, Aylish Cranstone
Lightning: Kathryn Bryce, Sarah Bryce, Bethan Ellis, Lucy Higham, Abbey Freeborn
Western Storm: Dani Gibson, Sophie Luff, Fi Morris, Georgia Hennessy, Nat Wraith, Alex Griffiths (Sixth contract funded by Western Storm and Glamorgan CCC)
Sunrisers: Naomi Dattani, Cordelia Griffith, Amara Carr, Jo Gardner, Kelly Castle.