Gwen (pictured above right), Issy and Eve (who coaches girls’ cricket at Shrewsbury School) are among five players awarded professional contracts at Central Sparks and part of a larger group of 41 elite women’s players across England and Wales who have received full-time domestic contracts. All contracts will enable players to access year-round training and join the Professional Cricketers' Association.
As part of a new structure for elite women’s domestic cricket Central Sparks is formed of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire and is one of eight regional hubs developed by the ECB.
Gwen Davies, a multitalented wicket-keeper and batter, has represented Wales in football, as well as having played for with Yorkshire Diamonds and Surrey Stars in the KSL. She was an instrumental of the Warwickshire Bears 2019 T20 Cup winning squad and currently balances professional cricket with being Head of Girls’ Cricket at Shrewsbury School.
Regional Director of Women’s Cricket, Laura Macleod, said:
“The awarding of a professional contract to Gwen is testament to her hard-working attitude, and her performances over the last couple of years from county to regional to gaining good experience from being part of the Kia Super League. We are full supportive of Gwen continuing as Head of Girls’ Cricket at Shrewsbury School as it provides Gwen with balance, and opportunities to develop and inspire cricketers at the school alongside continued personal development as player and coach.”
Gwen Davies comments:
“I am extremely grateful to be given this opportunity to be a full time professional alongside my role here at the school. It’s an exciting time to be involved in women’s cricket, and I’m privileged to be a part of this huge step forward for the game. I have to say a massive thank you to Andrew Pembleton and Peter Middleton who ensured that both roles could coincide; I’m greatly looking forward to getting started!”
Andy Barnard, Master IC Cricket, Adds:
“All those who work closely with Gwenan at Shrewsbury School are proud as punch that she has signed a full-time professional contract, and it is richly deserved. Born into a sporting Welsh family of the highest pedigree, I know she is immensely proud to take up the mantle as a professional sports woman for her relatives, both old and young. She is a hugely competitive athlete who loves opening an innings and keeping wicket. I am sure she will make Central Sparks the most electric team in the competition.
We all look forward to seeing her own career advance whilst she continues to nurture our growing pool of young and very talented female cricketers.”
The following pupils have also received excellent news regarding their cricketing selections and progressions:
- Theo W - Warwickshire EPP selection
- Jack H - Worcestershire Academy selection
- JJ Fielding - England Young Lions Training Squad