Up to 24 women’s domestic cricketers will receive a regional retainer to support them financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
The contracts are based around the eight new regional hubs.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) intended to introduce 40 full-time domestic contracts in 2020 but this has been delayed by the pandemic.
“Our drive for a more gender-balanced sport remains vitally important,” explained the ECB’s Clare Connor.
The eight regions will recruit players for the new contracts.
Players will follow strength and conditioning programmes, as well as completing anti-corruption and anti-doping modules.
The Hundred competition, in which the women were set to compete this year, has been postponed until 2021.
“While we still intend to award those full-time contracts in 2020, we want to try to support our players as much as we can until that point,” added Connor, the ECB’s managing director of women’s cricket.
“As we emerge from this pandemic, we believe even more strongly that cricket will be a sport that throws its arms around everyone.”
The eight regional hubs, their hosts and partners
North East – Yorkshire CCC, Durham CCC, Northumberland
North West – Lancashire CCC, Cheshire, Cumbria
West Midlands – West Midlands Women’s Cricket Ltd (Warwickshire CCC & Worcestershire CCC), Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire
East Midlands – Loughborough University, Derbyshire CCC, Leicestershire CCC, Nottinghamshire CCC, Lincolnshire
South West & Wales – Western Storm Ltd (Glamorgan CCC, Gloucestershire CCC & Somerset CCC), Cricket Wales, Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire
South Central – Southern Vipers Ltd (Hampshire Cricket Ltd), Sussex CCC, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire
London & South East – Surrey CCC, Kent CCC
London & East – Middlesex CCC, Essex CCC, Northamptonshire CCC, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk