ECB awards 18 England women’s players new contracts
The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced that 18 players from the England Women’s Performance Programme have been awarded new contracts, which have come into effect from this month.
England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards – who was recently named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year – is one of five Kent players included in the list, joined by county team-mates Tammy Beaumont, Natasha Farrant, Lydia Greenway and Laura Marsh. The 13 remaining England women’s contracts have been awarded to Katherine Brunt, Danielle Hazell and Lauren Winfield (all Yorkshire); Sussex duo Sarah Taylor and Georgia Elwiss; Nottinghamshire’s Jenny Gunn and Danielle Wyatt; Rebecca Grundy and Amy Jones (both Warwickshire); and Kathryn Cross (Lancashire), Heather Knight (Berkshire), Natalie Sciver (Surrey) and Anya Shrubsole (Somerset).
The announcement follows the ground-breaking decision by the ECB Board in February to significantly re-invest in the women’s game, with all 18 contracted players now set to benefit from the new and improved financial arrangements.
Speaking about the contracts, ECB Head of England Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, said: “The performances delivered by Charlotte Edwards and her team over the past 12 months, including back-to-back Women’s Ashes triumphs, a historic series win in the West Indies in November, and reaching the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 final in Bangladesh, unequivocally justify the financial reward which comes with the new England women’s contracts.
“The pay increase for the contracted players is significant and signals the dawning of a fully professional era in every sense for England women’s cricket. I am grateful to the ECB Board for the ongoing support they provide towards the development of the women’s game in this country.”
Paul Downton, Managing Director England Cricket, added: “The England women’s team always prepare to excellent standards, and have been professional cricketers in all but name for a while now.
“International women’s cricket has developed at a fast pace over the last few years and is now a year-round operation. The new arrangements will allow the 18 contracted players to train as full-time professionals. This is a very natural next step forward for the women’s game in this country, and we hope that the move will lead to England maintaining their position as one of the most successful women’s teams in the world.”
Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, also applauded the news: “Today’s announcement by the ECB is a significant step forward, not just for women’s cricket, but for women’s sport in this country. England’s women cricketers have led the way with world class performances on the field and it is fantastic that the ECB is now moving to professionalise the sport. This will not only reward the exceptional achievements of this current crop of international cricketers but also demonstrate to girls and women throughout the country that a career in sport is a realistic aspiration for them. This is a prime example of the progress that the DCMS Women in Sport Advisory Board is passionate about and wants to see more of.”
This summer, England women will host India women in August for a one-off Test match and three Royal London One Day Internationals, before welcoming South Africa women for a three match NatWest Twenty20 International series at the start of September.