The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed that 41 female cricketers have signed full-time contracts with eight domestic hubs. Alongside the 17-centrally contracted players, the number of female professional cricketers goes to 58.
Previously, the ECB planned to issue 40 contracts for the 2020 season but the plan got slightly tampered due to the coronavirus outbreak. In June, the board announced 25 players for the regional retainer deals. All of them have moved onto full-time contracts.
A further 16 new full-time contracts have been awarded to women cricketers, as per ECB’s announcement. Some notable names from the 16 women list are Jenny Gunn, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, and Georgie Hennessey.
ECB’s Managing Director of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor said, “This announcement is the most significant step forward by 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.”
Seven of the eight domestic hubs have awarded five contracts, while Western Storm and Glamorgan CCC have provided funding for a sixth between them.
Here is the list of contracted players as per their regional hub:
Northern Diamonds: Hollie Armitage, Beth Langston, Linsey Smith, Phoebe Graham, Jenny Gunn.
Thunder: Georgia Boyce, Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld, Hannah Jones.
Central Sparks: Evelyn Jones, Marie Kelly, Issy Wong, Emily Arlott, Gwenan Davies.
Lightning: Kathryn Bryce, Sarah Bryce, Bethan Ellis, Lucy Higham, Abbey Freeborn.
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.
Sunrisers: Naomi Dattani, Cordelia Griffith, Amara Carr, Jo Gardner, Kelly Castle.
Western Storm: Dani Gibson, Sophie Luff, Fi Morris, Georgia Hennessy, Nat Wraith, Alex Griffiths (Sixth contract funded by Western Storm and Glamorgan CCC).