In a landmark step, paid contracts are being offered to Scotland’s women’s cricket team for the first time.
Abbi Aitken-Drummond, Priyanaz Chatterji, Katherine Fraser, Lorna Jack, Ailsa Lister, Megan McColl, Orla Montgomery, Hannah Rainey and Ellen Watson will all take on pro deals.
The move, aimed at helping the top Scottish female cricketers towards professionalisation, follows a 2021 decision to introduce equal match fees for both the men’s and women’s teams.
Cricket Scotland’s decision also follows a recent report which judged the body to be institutionally racist and led to the appointment of a new governing body.
“This is a watershed moment for the sport in Scotland,” said new chair Anjan Luthra, who was appointed in October.
“The investment is an important building block in our desire to make cricket in Scotland a fully inclusive sport where there is no place for racism, discrimination or inequalities.”
I’m absolutely delighted that nine of our best women’s players have agreed to be the first to sign with Cricket Scotland
– Toby Bailey, Cricket Scotland’s interim Head of Performance
The organisation will hope that it can boost the prospect of the nation’s women, who have never qualified for a Women’s World Cup.
It follows similar steps in English cricket, where there are now a number of female professionals.
The women’s game is enjoying growing exposure in the United Kingdom, helped by the introduction of The Hundred, which includes a men’s and women’s competition on equal billing.
Reflecting on the awarding of contracts, Cricket Scotland’s interim Head of Performance, Toby Bailey, said: “We are thrilled to announce this year’s contracts, and for women’s cricket in Scotland in particular, this really is a landmark moment. I’m absolutely delighted that nine of our best women’s players have agreed to be the first to sign with Cricket Scotland.
“Given the rapid growth of women’s cricket across the world, promotion and investment in the women’s game in Scotland is now a cornerstone of the strategy for the organisation, and today’s news is a big step on the road to ensuring that cricket in Scotland is fair and inclusive for all.”