England Women Celebrations. (Photo Source: Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced central contracts for England women for the 2023-24 cycle on Sunday, December 04 as Maia Bouchier and Danielle Gibson were awarded central contracts for the first time. On the other hand, teenage sensation Mahika Gaur, fast bowler Lauren Filler and wicketkeeper batter Bess Heath were the new additions to the central contract for the women’s team.
Notably, Bouchier has been a part of the England squad for the past three years having played three ODIs and 22 T20Is so far. However, she let the world take notice of her during her breathtaking innings of 95 (65) in the third ODI against Sri Lanka in September. Meanwhile, Gibson made her debut during the Ashes 2023 and also hit the winning runs during the third match at Lord’s to seal the T20I series.
Bouchier and Gibson have been elevated following the retirement of Katherine Sciver-Brunt who bid adieu to the game after a 19-year career while seamer Freya Davies is also missing from the list.
“The central contracts are awarded to the players we feel will play a significant role over the next 12 months and beyond. We are at the start of an unprecedented busy period of international cricket and the group reflects the requirements of the multi-format schedule we face,” Jonathan Finch, the ECB’s director of England Women’s Cricket was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
Left-arm seamer Tash Ferrent has been once again retained despite having played her last international game in 2021 due to the recurrence of her back stress fracture. Young pace sensation Issy Wong also keeps her contract despite enduring a challenging season where she was picked just once and looked completely out of rhythm.
Gaur, Heath and Filer provided Development Contracts
Furthermore, through the introduction of the new development contracts, the ECB aims to provide extra support for players such as 17-year-old left-arm seamer Mahika Gaur, Bess Heath and fast bowler Lauren Filer.
The central contracts run until October 31, 2024, and also include an enhanced family provision entitlement, extra bonuses for success against higher-ranked opposition, increased retainers and equal match fees to their male counterparts.
England Women central contracts: Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Freya Kemp, Heather Knight, Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Issy Wong, Danni Wyatt
England Women development contracts: Bess Heath, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur