As part of their “Inspiring Generations” strategy, the ECB have today announced that they will fund 40 new full-time domestic professionals, in addition to the 21 England contracted players, bringing the total number of full time pros playing in England up to around 60 – a 200% increase.
The ECB’s action plan dedicates £10 million per year over the next 5 years to grow the women’s game – focusing not just the new professionals but also the elite “pathway” – the England players of tomorrow, between U11 and U17 – and the recreational game; with the ultimate aim of making cricket a “gender-balanced sport”.
The action plan’s ten points are split into five main areas:
- 1. Create cricket offers that inspire girls to say ‘cricket is a game for me’
- 2. Bring cricket to more primary and secondary schools
- 3. Build a strong, sustainable, and inclusive club network
- 4. Raise standards in girls’ County Age Group cricket to provide consistency and excellence
- 5. Launch a new regional elite domestic structure for women’s cricket
- 6. Introduce 40 new full-time professional contracts
- 7. Drive engagement with The Hundred – Women’s Competition
- 8. Increase the profile of elite women’s cricketers and connect them to a new generation of fans
- 9. Increase the representation of women in the cricket workforce
- 10. Support more women to take on leadership roles in cricket
Speaking at the launch, the ECB’s Managing Director of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, hailed the integrated approach of the plan:
“To truly transform women’s and girls’ cricket, we must now move from targeted standalone programmes to addressing the whole pathway as one,” she said.