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Heap and Smale sign professional contracts

Heap and Smale sign professional contracts

Thunder Cricket is delighted to announce that England Under 19s duo Liberty Heap and Seren Smale have signed their first professional contracts with the region.

The pair played key roles as England reached final of the ICC Under 19s Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa last month and have now penned professional deals ahead of the 2023 season.

19-year-old Heap, a Burnley-born all-rounder, has made seven appearances for Thunder since making her debut in 2020.

During her first season, aged just 16, Heap claimed best bowling figures of 3 for 34 with her right-arm off-breaks against Lightning and in 2022 showed her batting prowess scoring 36 not out from just 18 balls against Western Storm at Emirates Old Trafford.

At the Under 19s World Cup, Heap was an ever-present at the top of England’s order, scoring 149 runs at an average of 21. She made one half-century, scoring 64 from 35 deliveries against Rwanda.

Smale, a wicket-keeper batter from Wrexham, joined the Thunder Academy at the start of the 2021 season before being added into the first team squad in September after several impressive performances.

During the final game of last season against Western Storm, Smale struck her maiden half-century in regional cricket, as well as being part of Thunder's highest-ever opening partnership of 87 with Deandra Dottin.

The 18-year-old played six matches at the Under 19s World Cup, scoring 121 runs at an average of 30.25, including a Player of the Match performance against Pakistan.

Regional Director of Women's Cricket, David Thorley said: “We are really pleased that that two of our brightest young prospects in Liberty and Seren have accepted their first professional contracts.

“Their abilities have been clear from the handful of appearances which they have both made in the first team and that was reinforced by their positive performances at the recent Under 19s T20 World Cup in South Africa.

“We are now looking forward to Liberty and Seren being a full-time part of our set-up for the 2023 season and beyond - with a chance to train more regularly at Emirates Old Trafford and continuing to learn and improve on a daily basis.”

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