The ECB has announced that 41 full-time domestic contracts have been awarded to female cricketers as part of the new women’s regional set-up.
The governing body had originally planned to introduce the full-time deals in May but was forced to delay the move due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis. To fill the hole temporarily, 25 retainer deals were signed in June.
Seven of the eight sides have five players each on their full-time roster while Western Storm have six, with one contract funded in a collaboration between that regional set-up and Glamorgan.
“We’re delighted that these 41 young women are able to call themselves full-time professional cricketers and we wish them every success,” said Clare Connor, the ECB’s managing director of women’s cricket.
“The introduction of these 41 professional players, in addition to our 17 centrally contracted England Women’s players is the most significant step forward for the women’s game in recent years.
“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.
“Today’s news is not only wonderful for the players themselves, it represents a step-change for our whole domestic game and for young girls who will now be able to see more opportunity and aspiration in front of them.
“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.”
ECB women’s full-time domestic contracts
Holly Armitage, Beth Langston, Linsey Smith, Phoebe Graham, Jenny Gunn
Georgie Boyce, Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld, Hannah Jones
Evelyn Jones, Marie Kelly, Issy Wong, Emily Arlott, Gwenan Davies
Kathryn Bryce, Sarah Bryce, Bethan Ellis, Lucy Higham, Abbey Freeborn
Dani Gibson, Sophie Luff, Fi Morris, Georgia Hennessy, Nat Wraith, Alex Griffiths
Georgia Adams, Tara Norris, Paige Scholfield, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier
South East Stars
Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophia Dunkley, Tash Farrant, Bryony Smith, Aylish Cranstone
Naomi Dattani, Cordelia Griffith, Amara Carr, Jo Gardner, Kelly Castle