Alice Capsey and Issy Wong among six England Women’s cricket stars awarded first central contracts

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Alice Capsey and Issy Wong are among six players to have been handed England Women’s central contracts for the first time.

Following a transitional year for the side which saw a host of young talents make international breakthroughs, Lauren Bell, Charlie Dean, Freya Kemp and Emma Lamb are all also handed their first deals.

Eighteen players have been awarded contracts, one more than in the last round of deals announced in June 2021.

Anya Shrubsole and Fran Wilson drop off the list having retired from international cricket, while Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill and Georgia Elwiss miss out.

Fast bowler Tash Farrant retains her deal despite missing the majority of the home summer with a back injury, while all-rounder Nat Sciver - who has not featured since taking a break from the sport on mental health grounds during the Hundred - is also included, as is Katherine Brunt, who retired from Test cricket this summer but remains part a key part of the white-ball set-up.

The 18 contracts are separate from the 80 ECB-funded full-time domestic deals announced earlier this week, meaning that by the start of next season there will be a minimum of 98 professional women’s cricketers in England.

Director of England Women’s Cricket Jonathan Finch said: “It’s great to be able to share the list of Centrally Contracted England Women’s cricketers for the next 12 months, and huge congratulations to all those who have earned their contract. Introducing six new names on to the list of contracted players is exciting and provides a new look and feel to the group.

"We have a really exciting 12 months of cricket ahead and we feel this group of players will form the foundations of our side that will take us through various bilateral series, the Women’s Ashes and the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

"Our thanks as ever go to the England Women’s Player Partnership and the PCA who continue to play an important role in representing the international players during our ongoing discussions.”

Full list of England Women’s central contracts:

Tammy Beaumont (Lightning), Lauren Bell (Southern Vipers), Katherine Brunt (Northern Diamonds), Alice Capsey (South East Stars), Kate Cross (Thunder), Freya Davies (South East Stars), Charlie Dean (Southern Vipers), Sophia Dunkley (South East Stars), Sophie Ecclestone (Thunder), Tash Farrant (South East Stars), Sarah Glenn (Central Sparks), Amy Jones (Central Sparks), Freya Kemp (Southern Vipers), Heather Knight (Western Storm), Emma Lamb (Thunder), Nat Sciver (Northern Diamonds), Issy Wong (Central Sparks), Danni Wyatt (Southern Vipers).