Alice Davidson-Richards, Tash Farrant and Sarah Bryce have all signed their first pro deals, as 41 female cricketers in England turn professional.
The eight teams within the new women’s Regional set-up have today confirmed their allocation of professional players – meaning 41 female cricketers have now signed full-time domestic contracts.
In June of this year 25 players signed regional retainers. Today’s announcement adds a further 16 players to the list of contracted professionals and confirms that all 41 have progressed on to full-time terms.
The recruitment process was driven by the eight regions and their respective Regional Directors of Women’s Cricket.
Davidson-Richards and Farrant have both signed to the South East Stars, the regional side that represents both Kent & Surrey, whilst Kent Women’s 2020 Player of the Year Sarah Bryce has cemented her stay at Loughborough Lightning.
The three will remain available for selection for Kent Women, when their regional sides aren’t playing.
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.
“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.”