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Alice Capsey among new batch awarded ECB women's domestic contracts

Number of professionals in women's domestic game increases from 41 to 51

Alice Capsey was one of the stars of the Women's Hundred  •  Getty Images

Alice Capsey was one of the stars of the Women's Hundred  •  Getty Images

Teenage allrounder Alice Capsey, winner of the PCA Women's Young Player of the Year award, has received her first professional contract in the expanded list announced by the ECB for 2021-22.
The expected increase means the eight regional teams now all have six contracted players, with extra funding at Northern Diamonds and Thunder bringing the total number of women on domestic deals to 51 - in addition to the 16 centrally contracted by England Women.
Alongside Capsey, who starred for Oval Invincibles as they won the inaugural Women's Hundred while still studying for her A Levels, the other players on their first full-time contracts are: Ami Campbell, Katie Levick, Bess Heath, Charlie Dean, Danielle Gregory, Grace Scrivens and Laura Jackson.
Yorkshire have provided funding for two further contracts at Diamonds, awarded to Netherlands batter Sterre Kalis and Rachel Slater; while Lancashire will also support an additional pro player, with Phoebe Graham moving across the Pennines from Diamonds.
Sophia Dunkley moved on to an England contract in the summer, with Kirstie Gordon now on a domestic deal. Marie Kelly has switched from Central Sparks to Lightning, with Abbey Freeborne going in the opposite direction.
"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," Clare Connor, the ECB's managing director of women's cricket, said.
"We cannot overstate the impact that a new professional structure is having on our game. 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.
"Just as important is the visibility of these players, showing young girls that cricket is a game that can offer them a professional future.
"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."

ECB women's professional contracts 2021-22

Central Sparks: Emily Arlott, Ami Campbell, Gwenan Davies, Abbey Freeborn, Eve 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, Tash 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
*Funded by Northern Diamonds regional host, Yorkshire CCC
**Funded by Thunder regional host, Lancashire CCC