A couple of days after a record-breaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Cricket Australia handed central contracts to 17 players, with Kim Garth, Phoebe Litchfield, and Heather Graham making it to the expanded list.
While Garth played for Ireland for a number of years before switching to Australia and creating a niche for herself in the Women's Big Bash League and the national side, Litchfield is a young talent coming through the ranks of domestic cricket and impressed in the series against India and Pakistan.
“It’s been an incredibly successful 12 months for the Australian women’s team, but our attention now turns to the challenges ahead, particularly the upcoming Ashes Series in England."
"Kim Garth and Heather Graham have performed strongly at the domestic level over the past 12 months, and both thoroughly deserve their spot on the list.
“Phoebe Litchfield is a young talent who we believe has a big future, she’s built her game upon a very sound technique, and we’re confident she can transfer those skills into international cricket," National Selector, Shawn Flegler stated in a press release
Flegler also added that Tayla Vlaeminck remains in the plans of the Australian selectors as they build up for the all-important Ashes series and also shared an update on Nicola Carey's decision to drop off the contract list.
“Despite missing a large amount of cricket, Tayla Vlaeminck retains her contract which enables us to continue to support her on her return to play following a significant foot injury."
"Nicola Carey expressed a desire to spend the winter in Tasmania to allow her to utilise a full pre-season at home, focusing on using that time to develop skills in her game to push for international selection in the future."
“We offered Nic a contract because we believe she is a player of international quality, but we respect her decision to focus on a pre-season program with Tasmania and will continue to support her moving forward," he concluded.
Australia women central contracts:
Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Meg Lanning, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham