On Tuesday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the 2020-21 central contracts for England Woman, which included the new name of Sophia Dunkley. Dunkley replaced left-arm spinner Kirstie Gordon who is the only one left out from the previous 17-member list of contracted players by the board.
The 22-year old Sophia Dunkley from Surrey made her T20 international debut in 2018 against Bangladesh during the ICC World T20 held in West Indies and since then has featured in 15 T20Is for England. An enterprising right-hand batter and a bouncy leg spinner, the Surrey star first rose to prominence in the Kia Super League. Last year, she became one of England’s first 24 professional women’s domestic cricketers when she signed for the newly formed South East Stars in the ECB’s women’s elite domestic structure.
Dunkley has been around in the professional circuit for close to a decade having made her debut for Middlesex in 2012 in a T20 Cup match against Sussex. She was a regular feature at Middlesex over the following seasons and took part in various England Development Programmes. Over a period of time, the swashbuckling batter became one of Middlesex’s prolific performers, winning the club’s Player of the Year award in 2017 and 2019. She smashed a couple of centuries in the 2019 Women’s County Championship, and ended the season as the tournament’s highest run-getter. She played in every season of the Women’s Cricket Super League, from 2016 to 2018 for Surrey Stars and in 2019 for Lancashire Thunder. In February 2020, she left Middlesex to join Surrey.
Jonathan Finch, the Director of England Women’s Cricket, said, “We’re pleased to confirm a strong group of Centrally Contracted England Women’s cricketers ahead of a really exciting two years for Lisa, Heather, and the team. The Central Contracts, along with the roll-out of professional women’s domestic contracts, provide a fantastic opportunity to develop a larger pool of players pushing for selection and help strive for success on the field for England Women. We’ve continued to work closely with the England Women’s Player Partnership (EWPP) and the PCA to establish a comprehensive and objective process that underpins the awarding of Central Contracts. We will keep working in collaboration for the benefit of the players as we continue to grow and develop the professional women’s game.”
England Women’s contract list for 2020-21 Season
Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Sarah Glenn, Katie George, Heather Knight, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt