NEWS: ECB Confirms 41 Domestic Professional Contracts

The eight women’s regions have today confirmed the names of the players who have been allocated professional contracts, with five assigned to each region (with the exception of Western Storm, who have six).

In addition to the 20 players who signed regional retainers earlier in the year and the five England “Rookies”, who have all progressed onto full-time regional contracts, a further 16 players have been added to the list of contracted professionals.

CRICKETher understands that the new contracts are worth £18,000 annually (substantially less than the PCA’s mandated minimum wage of £27,500), with the ECB providing the funding for 40 of them.

However, the total number of contracts on offer has been increased to 41 (instead of the originally intended 40) thanks to an additional contract for the South West & Wales region, funded jointly by Western Storm and Glamorgan CCC. Georgia Hennessy, Nat Wraith and Alex Griffiths all shone for Storm in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, and with the player allocation process led by the Regional Directors it seems that Lisa Pagett was able to provide a convincing case that all three had done enough to earn a contract.

A number of players offered contracts have established careers outside of cricket (Central Sparks’ Gwenan Davies, for example, is Head of Girls Cricket at Shrewsbury School; while Northern Diamonds’ Phoebe Graham works in marketing for Sky), which strongly suggests that at least some of the new “professionals” will be continuing to do other paid employment outside of cricket.

Perhaps the most surprising inclusion is that of Jenny Gunn for Northern Diamonds. Gunn, who is 34 years old, announced her retirement from international cricket in October 2019, and had made the decision to retire from all cricket in March 2020, only playing in the RHF due to a last-minute phone call from Diamonds head coach Dani Hazell.

The full list of contracted players is now as follows (newly contracted players in italics):

Northern Diamonds:

  • Hollie Armitage
  • Beth Langston
  • Linsey Smith (EW Rookie)
  • Phoebe Graham
  • Jenny Gunn

North West Thunder:

  • Georgie Boyce
  • Alex Hartley
  • Emma Lamb (EW Rookie)
  • Ellie Threlkeld
  • Hannah Jones

Central Sparks:

  • Eve Jones
  • Marie Kelly
  • Issy Wong
  • Emily Arlott
  • Gwenan Davies

Lightning:

  • Kathryn Bryce
  • Sarah Bryce
  • 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 (EW Rookie)
  • Sophia Dunkley (EW Rookie)
  • Tash Farrant
  • Bryony Smith (EW Rookie)
  • Aylish Cranstone

Sunrisers:

  • Amara Carr
  • Naomi Dattani
  • Cordelia Griffith
  • Jo Gardner
  • Kelly Castle