... the move sees South Africa join England, Australia, West Indies and Pakistan in centrally contracting some women's internationals.Unless I've missed a major announcement somewhere along the line, this just isn't true; and I think it is important to raise it (again!), because it gives the ECB credit where I'm afraid it is not due.
The confusion arises because some England players are contracted to the MCC, via the Young Cricketers program, which pays them a student-grant-level stipend (and little more) to focus on cricket during the season; while others are employed by Chance To Shine - a charity which promotes cricket. C2S is better paid than the YCs, but it is important to note that those players employed by C2S are not paid to play cricket - they are employed (mostly) as coaches, and have to work jolly hard too - trekking up and down the country, living out of their suitcases.
So in both cases, the claim that these are "central contracts" is stretching it mightily; and for the sake of the players - who are increasingly competing against those like the Australians who are on genuine central contracts - we need to call this out.