Cricket Scotland hands out first professional women’s deals in ‘landmark moment’

Cricket Scotland has handed out its first ever raft of women’s contracts, with nine players signed up for 2023/24 in a “landmark moment” for the sport.

The introduction of professional deals for the women’s set-up was announced in November and the first intake has now been confirmed with Abbi Aitken-Drummond, Priyanaz Chatterji, Katherine Fraser, Lorna Jack, Ailsa Lister, Megan McColl, Orla Montgomery, Hannah Rainey and Ellen Watson agreeing terms.

Other players from the national squad – including Abtaha Maqsood and the Bryce sisters Kathryn and Sarah – already have professional deals at English regional sides.

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.

“Our new setup will enable those players from the women’s squad who have signed to devote more time to training and practice and we believe this is a major move towards putting the women’s game onto a fully professional footing.”

A total of 14 men’s players have been retained for the next year, led by captain Richie Berrington.