Four New Zealand women have been awarded maiden professional contracts with the national team.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have made a small piece of history by awarding four of their female cricketers maiden professional contracts.
Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Sara McGlashan and Sian Ruck have all been given one-year deals with the national side.
The contracts were decided upon through a decision from NZC and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA).
It has been included in each of the four players’ deals that they will work with a major association in the country to help promote grassroots women’s cricket, as well as increase awareness and interest at local schools and clubs for female participants.
The campaign will see Bates work with Otago Cricket, McGlashan with Auckland Cricket and Devine and Ruck at Cricket Wellington.
The decision comes after a successful Women’s World Cup in India earlier this year, when Australia lifted the trophy for a record sixth time and bowler Ellyse Perry emerged as a new star of Australian cricket.
The tournament was also praised for its competitiveness and this latest development in New Zealand is seen as a further step forward for the women’s game, with the Black Caps following the likes of Australia, England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the West Indies by awarding contracts to their key female players.
It is hoped that the progression of cricket among women will continue to grow in the coming years and NZC have shown they’re keen to be part of the movement.
“Women’s cricket is growing all around and it’s important that NZC and the major associations provide resources to continue that trend,” NZC chief executive David White said on ESPNcricinfo.