Maia Bouchier, Dani Gibson earn maiden England central contracts

Mahika Gaur, Lauren Filer, and Bess Heath get development contracts as ECB announces the England Women Central Contracts for 2023/24.

Women's CricZone Staff
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England Central Contracts

Maia Bouchier, Mahika Gaur, Lauren Filer (L-R) made their ODI debut against Sri Lanka in September 2023 © Getty Images

Maia Bouchier and Danielle Gibson received their maiden central contracts as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday (December 4) announced the England Women Central Contracts for the 2023/24 period. Mahika Gaur, Lauren Filer and Bess Heath are the recipients of the first set of development contracts.

Bouchier has already featured in 22 T20Is but made her ODI debut in September this year in the home series against Sri Lanka. The top-order batter scored 112 in innings in the series which included a 65-ball 95 in the third ODI. Allrounder Gibson received her first international cap earlier this year and has played 6 T20Is. 

Pacers Mahika Gaur and Lauren Filer, as well as wicketkeeper-batter Bess Heath, have all been handed development contracts after breaking into the senior side in 2023. Filer impressed in the Ashes test in June with four wickets while dismissing Ellyse Perry in both innings. 17-year-old Gaur, who switched over from UAE, made her England debut against Sri Lanka in September and put in good shifts with the ball. 

The contracts are valid until October 31, 2024, and they feature important structural upgrades to fulfill the demands of the players. The development contracts have been handed to players that the England management team believes will play an important role for the team in the future. The players will receive extra support over the next 12 months.

Bowler Tash Farrant, who suffered a back stress fracture and was last seen in England colors in 2021, has been retained. Katherine Sciver-Brunt, who announced her retirement after a 19-year-long international career and seamer Freya Davies are the ones dropped from the 18-member list. 

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The new list of Central Contracts represents a strategic move to encourage budding talent on the field by ECB. Jonathan Finch, the ECB's director of England Women's cricket, has released a statement expressing enthusiasm for the upcoming international cricket schedule. “The Central Contracts are awarded to players who we believe will play a big role in the coming year and beyond. We have begun an exceptionally hectic season of international cricket, and the group reflects the demands of the multi-format calendar.”

“Maia Bouchier and Danielle Gibson have been part of our team over the summer, have performed well and will be key players for England moving forward,” Finch further added. 

England Women Centrally Contracted List:

Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Freya Kemp, Heather Knight, Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Issy Wong, and Danni Wyatt.

England Women Development Contract List:

Bess Heath, Lauren Filer, and Mahika Gaur.