When the new Australian contracts were introduced last year, we all hoped that this would be a catalyst for similar moves over here; and so it has proved.
There are still a few question marks over the "dots and crosses" [or should that be "Lotts and (Kate) Crosses"?] of this deal. In particular, what happens to the existing Chance To Shine and MCC Young Cricketer contracts, which are currently putting the bread on the table and the petrol in the car? And in the case of Chance To Shine, what happens to their outreach programs, now that they have (presumably) just lost half their staff?
Also in general terms, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that this is more of a beginning than an end - we may have professional players now, but that's a long way from having a professional game which doesn't depend on handouts and cross-subsidies from men's cricket.
But for now, let's just sit back and celebrate an amazing landmark in the history of our game.
Champagne, anyone? It's on the players - they're rich now, apparently! [Er... they're almost certainly not! Ed.]