The 25 players represent the first tranche of professional women’s domestic cricketers. When the 40 full-time contracts are awarded – which ECB intends to award this year, despite the repercussions of COVID-19 – all Regional Retainer players will progress on to those terms.
The players will adhere to strength and conditioning programmes and undertake certain online modules including anti-corruption and anti-doping education. They will also give some of their time for “good of the game” activities and appearances.
The recruitment process was driven by the eight regions and their respective Regional Directors of Women’s Cricket. Once the 40 full-time contracts are awarded, the players will be split evenly across the eight regions with five professional players at each region.
North East Hollie Armitage, Beth Langston, Linsey Smith (EW Rookie)
North West Georgie Boyce, Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb (EW Rookie), Ellie Threlkeld
West Midlands Eve Jones, Marie Kelly, Issy Wong
East Midlands Kathryn Bryce, Sarah Bryce
South West and Wales Dani Gibson, Sophie Luff, Fi Morris
South Central Georgia Adams, Tara Norris, Paige Scholfield
London and South East Alice Davidson-Richards (EW Rookie), Sophia Dunkley (EW Rookie), Tash Farrant, Bryony Smith (EW Rookie)
London and East Amara Carr, Naomi Dattani, Cordelia Griffith
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.