Four Lancashire players awarded Regional Retainers
Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld and Georgie Boyce are the recipients
Lancashire Cricket is delighted to announce the awarding of Regional Retainers for four women’s cricketers as part of the North West’s Regional Centre of Excellence.
Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld and Georgie Boyce are the recipients of the contracts, which were recently announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The retainer contracts are an interim solution to 40 full-time contracts, which were due to be handed out this summer before the effects of COVID-19 forced a suspension of cricket. The intention is still to award these during 2020.
As part of the contracts the four players will be given full-time strength and conditioning programmes and undertake online educational programmes around anti-corruption and anti-doping. They will also be expected to take part in activities and appearances supporting ‘the good of the game’.
The North West Regional Centre covers Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire, for which David Thorley was recently appointed as Regional Director to oversee the programme.
Hartley is an ICC Cricket World Cup winner in 2017 and was an integral part of Lancashire Thunder in the Kia Super League during the competition’s four-year span. The left-arm spinner has made 32 international appearances to date.
All-rounder Lamb was recently handed an ECB rookie contract following outstanding performances over a number of years in the Lancashire setup and has also been involved in a senior England squad, with the 22-year-old eyeing up a maiden Three Lions appearance in the coming seasons.
Lamb was also named Lancashire Thunder Player of the Year in 2019 after taking ten wickets in the competition and adding a further 115 runs.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Threlkeld has also been involved in England Academy squads and similarly impressed on a national level with Lancashire Thunder in recent years. The 21-year old has been a consistent performer for Lancashire Women, since her debut in 2013.
Boyce, meanwhile, was awarded Lancashire Women’s Player of the Year in 2019 after a stellar year with the bat for the county side. The 21-year-old was the third highest run-scorer in the county 50-over competition and also featured for the Thunder.
All four players were also slated to play for Manchester Originals in the inaugural edition of The Hundred, which has been postponed until 2021 following the coronavirus pandemic.
The retainers are in addition to Lancashire players Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone, who are on full England central contracts.
Regional Director of Cricket for the North West and Performance Director of Lancashire Women’s Cricket, David Thorley, said: “The North West is a hotbed for women’s cricket and we are proud to be able to award four regional retainers to Alex, Emma, Ellie and Georgie.
“The players selected have all performed consistently for Lancashire and Lancashire Thunder over a number of years now and shown themselves to be some of the best emerging players in the country. In Alex’s case, she has already proven she has the ability to mix it with the best on the international stage.
“Losing the first season of The Hundred was a huge blow for the women’s game but the regional retainers allows us to continue the momentum built up in the game, even with the effects of coronavirus putting a halt to our matches at this current time.
“With the postponement of the anticipated full-time contracts for the time being, these retainers will allow the players to dedicate their time to cricket. Alongside Sophie Ecclestone, the world’s number one rated T20 international bowler, and Kate Cross, who has become a mainstay of England’s squads in recent years, we hope to see the North West region providing the backbone of England’s side in all formats.”
Managing Director of Women's Cricket, Clare Connor, said: "In what has been a challenging year for the whole game, it is pleasing to be able to support 25 women’s domestic cricketers by offering them Regional Retainers.
"In doing so, we are taking another step towards contracting our first cohort of full-time, professional players in the women’s domestic game.
"We know that in order for the women's game to continue to grow, we need a strong and thriving domestic set-up to enable more women to be able to make a living from the game.
"Girls need to see visible role models and to know that a talent and performance system exists for them to fulfil their potential. I'm excited to see how these players progress with greater support over the next couple of years – it’s another significant step forward for our sport."
The ECB’s Professional Game Group (PGG) continue to outline a number of opportunities for domestic play in 2020.