YORKSHIRE trio Linsey Smith, Hollie Armitage and Beth Langston have been awarded Regional Retainers for the North East (which includes Yorkshire in this case) of the Women’s Elite Domestic Structure.

In total, 25 players will represent the first tranche of professional women’s domestic cricketers across eight regions.

When the 40 full-time contracts are awarded – which the ECB intends to award this year, despite the repercussions of Covid-19 – all Regional Retainer players will progress on to those terms.

The players will adhere to strength and conditioning programmes and undertake certain online modules including anti-corruption and anti-doping education. They will also give some of their time for “good of the game” activities and appearances.

The recruitment process was driven by the eight regions and their respective Regional Directors of Women’s Cricket. Once the 40 full-time contracts are awarded, the players will be split evenly across the eight regions, with five professional players at each region.

Danielle Hazell, North East Region head coach, said: “Linsey (Smith) brings lots of domestic experience through the county game and the Kia Super League. Also, with a taste of international cricket, I’m sure she is desperate to retain her place and has the ability to do so.

“Hollie (Armitage) is a Yorkshire lass and I’m delighted to have her on board. She had a promising time last year in the KSL and I’m sure will have international honours in her sights.

“Beth (Langston) is one of the fastest seamers in the country, has had a taste of international cricket and will head our attack.”