Tuesday, 16 April 2013

NZ Girls Get THEIR Chance To Shine... But These Are NOT Central Contracts

Cricinfo reports that four New Zealand players, including captain Suzie Bates, have been awarded "central contracts" by their board.

This is obviously fantastic news for the girls involved... but... let's not get carried away here - these are not "central contracts" in the sense that they are awarded to the likes of Ali Cook and Brendon McCullum in the men's game.

The NZ girls are expected to "work closely with a major association to help promote grassroots women's cricket, increasing awareness and interest in the game at various school and club levels."

In this sense, these contracts sound very-much like the 'Chance To Shine' initiative in England.

While technically Chance To Shine is an independent charity, promoting sport in state schools and deprived areas; in practice it acts as a vehicle for employing several of the leading England women in a cricket-related context.

The England players employed by Chance To Shine (including Lottie Edwards) are clearly better-off than they would be without the scheme - they have a full-time cricket-related job, with an employer who is naturally sympathetic to the demands of playing and touring with England.

But let's not kid ourselves that these are really "central contracts" in they way in which they are generally understood within the game of cricket.

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