The England Cricket Board came up with a new women’s regional hub competition earlier this year. It will feature eight teams in a regionalised 50-over format, which will take the form of two groups of four teams each.
In a development towards the same, the eight teams within the new women’s Regional set-up have today confirmed their allocation of professional players which takes the total list of 41 players having a full time domestic contract.
Earlier in June, 25 players had signed the contract, and a further list of 16 players confirms that all 41 players have progressed on to full time terms.
North Diamonds: Hollie Armitage, Beth Langston, Linsey Smith, Phoebe Graham, Jenny Gunn.
Thunder: Georgie Boyce, Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Elle Threlked, Hannah Jones
Central Sparks: Evelyn Jones, Marie Kelly, Issy Wong, Emily Arlott, Gwenan Davies
Lightning: Kathryn Bryce, Sarah Bruce, Bethan Ellis, Lucy Higham, Abbey Freeborn
Western Storm: Dani Gibson, Sophie Luff, Fi Morris, Georgia Hennessy, Nat Wraith, Alex Griffiths
Southern Vipers: Georgia Adams, Tara Norris, Paige Scholfield, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier
South East Stars: Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophia Dunkley, Tasha Farrant, Bryony Smith, Aylish Cranstone
Sunrisers: Naomi Dattani, Cordelia Griffith, Amara Carr, Jo Gardner, Kelly Castle
ECB Managing Director of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, said: “We’re delighted that these 41 young women are able to call themselves full-time professional cricketers and we wish them every success. “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.”
He also went ahead and spoke about improving the health of women’s cricket in England and Wales and giving an opportunity to the 41 players access to high quality coaching. He said that the regional set up alongside the Hundred, will go a long way in promoting women’s cricket.
“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,” Connor added.
“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.”