Tash Farrant wins back England central contract
Left-arm seamer earns back deal she lost in 2019 after landmark 2021 season
Tash Farrant has signed an England Women's central contract for the 2022 season, almost three years on from losing her international deal.
After a landmark season in 2021, Farrant, the 25-year-old left-arm seamer, has come full circle, regaining the international contract she held from 2014 until early 2019.
Farrant began her road back to the international fold when she was selected for England's tour of New Zealand at the start of this year on the back of an impressive performance in the 2020 Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. She was awarded one of 41 new domestic women's contracts in October 2020 with South East Stars, helping them in this year's victorious Charlotte Edwards Cup campaign.
"I'm really pleased to have been awarded a central contract," Farrant said. "This now means I'm in a position to work and train even harder with the team as we head into an Ashes and World Cup year."
Lisa Keightley, England Women's head coach, said Farrant's return was testament to her "incredible hard work and commitment".
"It was naturally a very difficult time for her in 2019 and the fact that she's earned her way back to this level says everything about her ability, her work ethic and her desire to improve," Keightley said.
"We should also take our hats off to South East Stars, who've nurtured and supported her across those two years. We can't say enough how vital it is that there's now a professional domestic structure in place that allows players like Tash to carry on making strides forward even when they're not in an England kit."
Farrant is one of 17 players on central contracts for 2022, alongside 51 regional contracts. South East Stars will identify a sixth player to progress to professional terms, replacing Farrant.
Having played two ODIs and one T20I on the tour of New Zealand, Farrant was the leading wicket-taker in the inaugural Women's Hundred competition, with 18 wickets at an average of 10.27 and an economy rate of 6.20. She was instrumental in securing a place in the final with her 4 for 10 from 19 balls in the eliminator for Oval Invincibles, who went on to win the title.
Farrant was part of England's Test, ODI and T20 squads for the multi-format series with India in June and July without playing a game. She returned to international action for two of England's five ODIs against New Zealand and all three of their T20Is later in the summer.
In 24 matches in 2021, Farrant took 42 wickets at an average of 14.11, including 5 for 33 for South East Stars against Sunrisers in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
Richard Bedbrook, South East Stars director of regional women's cricket, said: "In the two years of being with the Stars, Tash has influenced the environment significantly with her competitive spirit, high standards and genuine care for her team-mates and support staff.
"We felt it was only a matter of time before international honours resumed for Tash and being that she has been a part of each England series in 2021, we are proud for her now to move back into an England contract and continue to make an impact on the England team and performances in the future."