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Sophia Dunkley replaces Kirstie Gordon in England Women's central contracts list

Solitary change to 17-person group ahead of home series against India

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
England Women completed a successful tour of New Zealand in February  •  AFP/Getty Images

England Women completed a successful tour of New Zealand in February  •  AFP/Getty Images

Sophia Dunkley, the South East Stars allrounder, has replaced Kirstie Gordon in the only change to England Women's central contracts list for the year 2021-22.
Dunkley has played in each of England's last five T20Is after impressing in the bio-secure bubble in Derby last summer, and has started the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy with scores of 104 not out, 0 and 92 this season. She was previously on an England rookie contract.
Gordon, who has not played for England in any format since the Ashes Test against Australia in 2019, has started the season strongly with two four-wicket hauls in three appearances for Lightning, but has been pushed down the spin pecking order by Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Mady Villiers.
Gordon moves to a regional domestic contract, though the shift has not been straightforward since the dates of central contracts do not currently align with regional system. As a result, the new tranche of central contracts run from May 1, 2021 to October 31, 2022, longer than the usual year.
England are due to name their squad for the one-off Test against India on Wednesday, with Dunkley among those expected to be included after her strong start to the summer, albeit in a different format.
Georgia Elwiss' inclusion on the central contracts list, nearly two years after her last appearance for England (she missed last summer through injury), also implies that she is likely to be named in that squad. The Test starts on June 16 in Bristol, with three ODIs and three T20Is to follow.
Jonathan Finch, the director of England Women's cricket, said: "We're pleased to confirm a strong group of centrally-contracted England Women's cricketers ahead of a really exciting two years for Lisa, Heather and the team.
"The central contracts, along with the roll-out of professional women's domestic contracts, provide a fantastic opportunity to develop a larger pool of players pushing for selection and help strive for success on the field for England Women.
"We've continued to work closely with the England Women's Player Partnership (EWPP) and the PCA to establish a comprehensive and objective process that underpins the awarding of central contracts. We will keep working in collaboration for the benefit of the players as we continue to grow and develop the professional women's game."

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98