Lightning, the East Midlands side in the ECB's elite domestic structure for women's cricket, will benefit from an addidtional professional player in the 2021/22 season.
The Loughborough-based outfit, who represent Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, will have six professional players in the upcoming campaign, with Marie Kelly set to join the ranks.
Nottinghamshire's Lucy Higham remains part of the squad, alongside fellow pros Kathryn Bryce, Sarah Bryce, Bethan Ellis and Kirstie Gordon.
The ECB-funded deals will take the number of professional players in the women’s regional structure from 41 to 51.
Including the England Women Centrally Contracted players, there are now 67 professional women’s cricketers in England and Wales.
“It’s absolutely fundamental to the future of women's and girls’ cricket in England and Wales that we’re able to continue increasing the depth of our regional game by offering more professional contracts to our players," said Clare Connor, ECB Managing Director of Women’s Cricket.
“We cannot overstate the impact that a new professional structure is having on our game. We’ve already seen the positive impact it has had on players’ performances in a relatively short space of time. The players are thriving, raising standards across the game and deepening the potential talent pool for England Women.
“Just as important is the visibility of these players, showing young girls that cricket is a game that can offer them a professional future.
“Professionalising the women’s game is a significant chapter for our sport and I’m thrilled that we’re able to continue that momentum by increasing the number of professional contracts on offer.”
Nottinghamshire membership for the 2022 season is on sale now, with those who join our club bestowed access to all scheduled home domestic cricket alongside a plethora of additional perks.