Maia Bouchier and Danielle Gibson have been handed their first England Women central contracts, with 18 players in total awarded deals for 2023-24.
Both players have featured for England this summer, with all-rounder Gibson playing in six women’s T20 matches after making her debut in July and Bouchier breaking into the ODI fold during September’s series against Sri Lanka.
Retiring Katherine Sciver-Brunt and Freya Davies – who last played for England in July – are the two players not retained on central contracts from 12 months ago, with the other 16 players all being awarded one-year deals through to next October.
Bowlers Mahika Gaur and Lauren Filer and wicketkeeper-batter Bess Heath have all been awarded development contracts after breaking into the senior set-up in 2023, enabling the ECB to support them further over the next 12 months.
England Women centrally contracted players for 2023/24
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
While the men’s side moved recently to a system of multi-year contracts, with several leading players tied into two and three-year arrangements, the women’s squad remains on 12-month agreements.
Yet the ECB has announced that the terms include “significant structural improvements” as well as increased bonuses for victories over the strongest opposition and the previously-announced upgrade to match fees, which are now equal with the men’s team.
Director of England Women’s Cricket, Jonathan Finch, said: “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.
“Maia Bouchier and Danielle Gibson have been part of our group over the summer, have performed well and will be important players for England moving forward.
“The introduction of development contracts is a key step for us and allows us to support a wider group of players in their ongoing development and we will work closely with the regions to manage the players’ development and workloads.
“After a record-breaking Ashes summer, 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, 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.”
England’s women begin a three-match T20 series against India on Wednesday, ahead of a one-off Test from December 14. Watch all the best live sport and more with NOW.