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Sarah Taylor named in England's upgraded contracts

Sarah Taylor is among 18 players to be handed contracts by the ECB Getty Images

Sarah Taylor, who is currently taking an indefinite break from cricket, has been awarded one of the ECB's new two-year contracts as England's women players earn enhanced deals.

Taylor, 27, who has made 190 appearances for England across the three formats, stepped away from the game in May to deal with anxiety. There is currently no schedule for her return but Mark Robinson, the England coach, said that next year's World Cup remained a possibility.

"Sarah is doing really well with her return-to-cricket plan after taking some time away from the game for health reasons," Robinson said. "Her aim has always been to be back playing and available for selection for the World Cup next summer, and we'll continue to offer her the support she needs to achieve that goal."

Taylor is one of 17 players to be handed the new full two-year deals, which also come with increased value following the initial introduction of central contracts in 2014, while Beth Langston has been awarded the first of the newly created rookie contracts

Alex Hartley, the left-arm spinner who has taken 17 wickets in her first nine ODIs, has been awarded her first full contract but fellow left-armer Rebecca Grundy has lost her deal while the retired pair of Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway also drop off the list.

"The women's game is growing at a real pace, but still doesn't have the financial security that the men's county game offers a player from the England men's team in the event that they lose their ECB central contract," Robinson said. "We have a big couple of years coming up with two global events and a Women's Ashes series in Australia, and it's important that the players can look forward with some degree of certainty to focus on performing in those competitions.

"That said, we do still have space and freedom to grow - we have to be able to reward players at the right time - so we will continue to assess the central contracts list on an annual basis. The new level of "rookie" contract also gives us greater flexibility in this respect, allowing us to financially support players who sit just above the England Women's senior academy squad, but who have not quite hit the level required to win a full central contract."