Following the announcement of five professionally contracted players in 2020/21, the ECB today announced that each of the Women’s Elite Regional Teams will have an additional sixth professional contract awarded for the 2021/22 season.
Sunrisers have renewed the contracts of Amara Carr, Kelly Castle, Naomi Dattani, Jo Gardner, and Cordelia Griffith, who all earned professional contracts last year, whilst the sixth contract for 2021/22 is awarded to seventeen-year-old off spinning all-rounder Grace Scrivens.
Scrivens, a product of Kent Cricket’s Women’s set-up had a consistent 2021 season with Sunrisers, playing in thirteen of the London and East Elite Regional Team’s matches, having initially made her debut for Sunrisers in the 2020 season. In 2021 she stepped up to the role of opening batter in the fifty over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy competition, whilst also opening the bowling with her off-spin in the twenty-over Charlotte Edwards Cup competition.
Her form this summer for Sunrisers also earned her a call-up to the London Spirit ranks, where she competed in the inaugural year of the Hundred competition, playing in two matches for the Lord’s based side, against Manchester Originals at Old Trafford and Welsh Fire at Sophia Gardens.
Gardner also had a summer to remember, playing in all but one of the Oval Invincibles Hundred matches, including the Eliminator and the Final, as her Hundred side lifted the trophy in its first year.
Castle, Dattani, and Griffith also saw some silverware this season, with all three players collecting awards at the Sunrisers’ End of Season Player Awards lunch held earlier this month at Lord’s. Castle picked up the Bowler Of The Year Award, Dattani the Fielder Of The Year Award, whilst Griffith walked away with a trio of awards, for the Batting Performance Of The Year, Player Of The Year and the Players’ Player Of The Year.
Speaking of the announcement of the six contracted players for the coming twelve-month period, Regional Head of Women’s Cricket for Sunrisers, Danni Warren, commented:
“One of the highlights of the last year has been seeing how these professional players have benefitted from the opportunity to focus all of their efforts on being a cricketer. To have witnessed how the inaugural five have grown both on and off the field has been a pleasure - their hard work has underlined the potential we know they have and has deservedly earned them contract renewals.
In addition, we are delighted to have been able to offer Grace her first contract - she has developed into a crucial member of our side, and someone we want to grow Sunrisers around for many years to come.
Having finished the 2021 season with a number of positives everyone at Sunrisers cannot wait to start building towards what we hope will be a successful year in 2022.“
Clare Connor, ECB Managing Director of Women’s Cricket, said:
“It’s absolutely fundamental to the future of women's and girls’ cricket in England and Wales that we’re able to continue increasing the depth of our regional game by offering more professional contracts to our players.
“We cannot overstate the impact that a new professional structure is having on our game. We’ve already seen the positive impact it has had on players’ performances in a relatively short space of time. The players are thriving, raising standards across the game and deepening the potential talent pool for England Women.
“Just as important is the visibility of these players, showing young girls that cricket is a game that can offer them a professional future.
“Professionalising the women’s game is a significant chapter for our sport and I’m thrilled that we’re able to continue that momentum by increasing the number of professional contracts on offer.”