Earlier, the number of professionally contracted players in the domestic circuit was 41. With Northern Diamonds and Thunder having additional contracts this year, the number has gone up to 51. Along with the centrally contracted England players, there will be 67 contracted players in England and Wales.
The 17-year-old Alice Capsey, who stole the limelight during her stint with the Oval Invincibles, in the inaugural edition of The Hundred has been awarded the domestic contract by the ECB.
While Sterre Kalis and Rachel Slater are funded by Northern Diamonds regional host Yorkshire CCC, Thunder's Phoebe Graham would be sponsored by their regional host, Lancashire CCC.
ECB Managing Director of Women’s Cricket Clare Connor said that they could not overstate the impact that a new professional structure has had on the game.
“It’s absolutely fundamental to the future of women's and girls’ cricket in England and Wales that we’re able to continue increasing the depth of our regional game by offering more professional contracts to our players."
"We’ve already seen the positive impact it has had on players’ performances in a relatively short space of time. The players are thriving, raising standards across the game and deepening the potential talent pool for England Women."
She added that offering the players a professional future is as important as providing them visibility. “Professionalising the women’s game is a significant chapter for our sport, and I’m thrilled that we’re able to continue that momentum by increasing the number of professional contracts on offer.”
Contracted players list:
Central Sparks: Emily Arlott, Ami Campbell, Gwenan Davies, Abbey Freeborn, Evelyn Jones, Issy Wong
Lightning: Kathryn Bryce Sarah Bryce Bethan Ellis Kirstie Gordon Lucy Higham Marie Kelly
Northern Diamonds: Hollie Armitage, Jenny Gunn, Bess Heath, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Linsey Smith, *Sterre Kalis, *Rachel Slater
Southern Vipers: Georgia Adams, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Charlie Dean, Tara Norris, Paige Scholfield
South East Stars: Alice Capsey, Aylish Cranstone, Alice Davidson Richards, Danielle Gregory, Natasha Farrant, Bryony Smith
Sunrisers: Amara Carr, Kelly Castle, Naomi Dattani, Jo Gardner, Cordelia Griffith, Grace Scrivens
Thunder: Georgie Boyce, Alex Hartley, Laura Jackson, Hannah Jones Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld, Phoebe Graham
Western Storm: Dani Gibson, Alex Griffiths, Georgia Hennessey, Sophie Luff, Fi Morris, Nat Wraith