June 25 will be the day that will be remembered for years to come as the day saw history being created in women’s cricket. In first of its kind in domestic women’s cricket, the three English players; Amara Carr, Naomi Dattani, and Cordelia Griffith became full-time professional cricketers.
The trio will be retained with immediate effect. Carr, Dattani, and Griffith, who most recently played for Middlesex, will be awarded professional playing contracts with the London and East regional hub of the new domestic women’s structure. The London and East regional hub are comprised of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the first-class counties of Middlesex, Essex, and Northamptonshire, along with the national counties of Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Bedfordshire, and Huntingdonshire. It is one of the eight regional hubs in England. There are 25 newly professional women cricketers in these hubs.
The ECB’s ten-point action plan for Transforming Women’s and Girls’ Cricket which has garnered tremendous attention across the world contains the new Women’s Elite Domestic Structure that was unveiled in October 2019.
Naomi Dattani, 26, has been a Middlesex cricketer right from her junior cricketing days. She made her competitive List A debut in 2008. The southpaw has been leading Middlesex Women’s fifty-over side since 2017 and has been a part of the MCC Women’s & Girl’s Performance Academy since 2019.
Carr, 26, started her cricketing journey from her home county that is Devon. The wicket-keeper bat played age-group cricket and progressed to make her List A debut in 2008. In 2017 she joined Middlesex to play the T20 format, however, she continued to play for Devon in the fifty over format. Towards the end of 2019, she joined Middlesex to play across both the formats.
Griffith, 24, played age-group cricket for Essex and advanced to make her T20 and List A debut for Essex Women in 2010. In 2019, the right-hand bat moved from Essex to Middlesex to play in T20 and fifty over formats. Like Naomi, she is also a part of the MCC’s Women’s & Girl’s Performance Academy.
Over the last three months, there has been no cricket and taking into consideration the current COVID-19 situation across the globe, it is unlikely that there will be any cricketing action soon. All the domestic competitions are currently on hold at least till August 1. Meanwhile, the players will be benefitting from a comprehensive strength and conditioning program, lifestyle support and will be engaged in ambassadorial programs within the region.
Danni Warren, Regional Director of Women’s Cricket for the London and East Hub, said, “This is such an exciting day for women’s cricket and women’s sport on the whole. A lot of work has been put in behind the scenes, over many years, by players and administrators alike to make this step to professionalism possible. This underlines the commitment by ECB and the cricket network has to grow the women & girls game in this country and puts us in a really positive position to return to cricket as soon as feasibly possible.
“I am really looking forward to working with Amara, Naomi and Cordelia, I know all three girls well and they bring so much more than a high degree of skill on a cricket pitch. I know that each of them will give their all to achieve success for the region and for themselves, and I cannot wait to get started on this journey.”