Players offered a contract in the women's Hundred for 2020 will be able to roll their deals over to 2021, the ECB has confirmed.
As ESPNcricinfo revealed back in June, women's salary bands - which range from £3,600 to £15,000 - will be maintained for next year, while men's deals have been cut by 20%, and will now be worth £24,000-£100,000.
Details over the men's retention system are yet to be finalised, but the Professional Cricketers Associations (PCA) received a proposal from the ECB last week and has asked for feedback from representatives and members. A decision is expected to be reached soon, with the consultation process ongoing.
The Hundred's initial regulations, pre-Covid, stated that each team would be able to retain up to 10 players at a mutually agreed salary band. All contracts for the competition were terminated in May, with players receiving 11.5% of their salary. That meant a combined £7 million loss for players, on top of the combined £3.8 million they gave up after agreeing to salary reductions, as well as giving up prize money, earlier this year due to the impact of the pandemic.
An ECB release said that the decision to allow women's players to roll their contracts over had been reached in order to "offer maximum security to the players who were denied the opportunity to play in the Hundred this year".
Contracted players will be able to re-sign with their existing teams this month, and teams will then have from October until May 2021 to replace any players who chose not to do so. Forty new professional contracts will also be awarded through the eight new regional centres in October, after 25 players signed retainers this summer.
Anya Shrubsole, who has taken up the option to re-sign for Southern Brave, said: "It's good for all women's players to have the security of rolling over their 2020 contract offers, should they want to do so. The summer we've had has obviously thrown up a bit of uncertainty and this helps confirm that everyone expecting to play in the Hundred will still get that opportunity."
Beth Barrett-Wild, head of the women's Hundred, said: "Covid-19 has caused some uncertainty for athletes, especially female athletes, so being able to provide immediate clarity and assurance to the women's players that they will get the chance to re-sign for the same team and for the same fee in 2021 is very important, and demonstrates the Hundred's ongoing commitment to the women's game."