England have awarded a central contract to South East Stars batter Sophia Dunkley for the first time.
The 22-year-old has played in 15 Twenty20 internationals after making her debut at the 2018 World Cup in West Indies.
Dunkley is one of 17 players, including captain Heather Knight and all-rounder Nat Sciver, to be handed a central contract.
The contracts will run from 1 May 2021 to 31 October 2022.
In December, 16 cricketers were awarded full-time domestic contracts with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), taking the total to 41.
“The central contracts, along with the roll-out of professional women’s domestic contracts, provide a fantastic opportunity to develop a larger pool of players pushing for selection and help strive for success on the field for England Women,” Jonathan Finch, director of England women’s cricket, said
Dunkley is currently playing for South East Stars in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and has been in impressive form, averaging 98 in three matches.
On Wednesday, England are expected announce their squad for the upcoming Test against India.
England will host India in the one-off match in Bristol from 16-19 June, followed by three one-day-internationals and three T20s.
England central contracts 2021-2022
Tammy Beaumont (Lightning), Katherine Brunt (Northern Diamonds), Kate Cross (Thunder), Freya Davies (South East Stars), Sophia Dunkley (South East Stars), Sophie Ecclestone (Thunder), Georgia Elwiss (Southern Vipers). Sarah Glenn (Central Sparks), Katie George (Western Storm), Heather Knight (Western Storm), Amy Jones (Central Sparks), Nat Sciver (Northern Diamonds), Anya Shrubsole (Western Storm), Mady Villiers (Sunrisers), Fran Wilson (Sunrisers), Lauren Winfield-Hill (Northern Diamonds), Danni Wyatt (Southern Vipers).