Five sign full-time domestic contracts with Thunder
Women's regional set-up for the North West confirms allocation of professional players
Georgie Boyce, Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld and Hannah Jones have signed full-time domestic contracts with Thunder - the North West's regional side.
In June of this year Boyce, Hartley, Lamb and Threlkelkd all signed regional retainers, with spin bowler Jones now joining them on full-time terms after impressing with the ball in this summer's Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
Jones took four wickets in the tournament and caught the eye with an economy of just 3.16 - the 21-year-old was often trusted by skipper Hartley to open the bowling and tie up an end for the Thunder.
Today’s announcement made by the ECB adds a further 16 players to the list of contracted professionals meaning 41 female cricketers have now signed full-time domestic contracts.
The recruitment process was driven by the eight regions and their respective Regional Directors of Women’s Cricket.
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.”