England’s women’s Ashes-winners will benefit directly from the extra money set to boost the national budget via an overhaul of administration in world cricket.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced that women’s cricket in this country, and “inner-city areas” will both receive extra investment.
The national governing body approved the measures at a board meeting, in anticipation of a significant financial boost once recommendations are implemented by the International Cricket Council after last weekend’s controversial policy changes.
An ECB statement read: “In a ground-breaking decision by the ECB directors, it was agreed that a portion of the increased revenues ECB are likely to receive from future ICC events should be reinvested in urban areas and the women’s game.
“Under these proposals, the England women’s team will receive a major pay rise and also a bonus following their Ashes success in Australia this winter.”
ECB chairman Giles Clarke added: “The success of the England women’s team was a real bright spot during an otherwise disappointing winter.
“Over successive years, the women’s team have produced not only excellent results but have also been outstanding role models for a generation of girls and women who have been inspired to take up the game.
“These pay rises are significant – and, as a result, we are proudly creating the first group of full-time women’s professional cricketers.
“We hope that they will become some of the best paid sportswomen in Britain – certainly the best in British women’s team sports.”
Chris Woakes’s four wickets helped England Lions take control on day two of the unofficial Test against Sri Lanka A in Pallekele.
Test all-rounder Woakes (4-45) was on a hat-trick after taking wickets with his third and fourth deliveries, and the hosts lurched to 12-3 and then 61-7 on the way to 171 all out.
Despite lower-order resistance from Sri Lanka A, Dhammika Prasad making 50 at No 9 and sharing a half-century eighth-wicket stand with Chaturanga de Silva, the Lions earned a lead of 159.
A last-wicket stand of 36 between Graham Onions and Tymal Mills had earlier helped the tourists to 330.
Slow left-armer de Silva (3-31) was then in the wickets, too, as the Lions faltered in their second innings.
The top three all went lbw in a stumps total of 105-4.
Ireland have announced their World Twenty20 squad, retaining the 15 players on tour in the West Indies.
As such, the party that coach Phil Simmons will take to Bangladesh next month has a familiar look, with 10 players having previously represented Ireland at a World T20.
Captain William Porterfield is taking part in his seventh major global event, while the likes of Ed Joyce, Niall and Kevin O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Tim Murtagh, George Dockrell and Gary Wilson also have experience at the top-level.