Natasha Farrant earns England central contract ahead of 2022 season
Natasha Farrant played just second ODI after a gap of eight years. © England Cricket/Twitter
England bowler Natasha Farrant has regained her central contract for 2022 season, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Tuesday (November 23). Farrant, who previously held her contract till 2019, has earned this contract based on a stellar performance in the domestic competitions and the inaugural season of The Hundred.
Lisa Keightley, England head coach, praised Farrant for her hard work and commitment while congratulating her. “It’s testament to Tash’s incredible hard work and commitment that she’s once again an England women’s centrally contracted cricketer. It was naturally a very difficult time for her in 2019 and the fact that she has earned her way back to this level says everything about her ability, her work ethic, and her desire to improve,” Keightley said.
Farrant, who made her international debut against Pakistan in 2013, was part of the England squad that faced India in the multi-format series against India. With the talented line-up at their disposal, she didn’t get any opportunity in that series. Once selected in the playing XI in the home series against New Zealand, the left-arm pacer took six wickets across five matches.
Commenting on receiving a central contract Farrant thanked her ‘support network’ and said, "I’m really pleased to have been awarded a central contract - I’ve worked hard to continue to improve my game and been lucky to have an amazing support network; especially Scott Boswell, Lydia Greenway and everyone at South East Stars around me to help get me to this point."
"This now means I’m in a position to work and train even harder with the team as we head into an Ashes and World Cup year."
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Keightley echoed these sentiments and thanked the South East Stars for their continuous support behind the talented player. “We should also take our hats off to South East Stars, who’ve nurtured and supported her across those two years. We can’t say enough how vital it is that there’s now a professional domestic structure in place that allows players like Tash to carry on making strides forward even when they’re not in an England kit,” she said.
The 25-year-old Farrant represented the title winnings sides, Stars and Oval Invincibles in the Charlotte Edwards Cup and The Hundred respectively. She was the leading wicket-taker in The Hundred, where she took 18 wickets across 10 matches. Her four-wicket haul in the 'Eliminator' helped the Invincibles reach the final of competition. In 2021, she has taken 42 wickets at an average of 14.11 in 24 matches across all formats.
With Farrant’s inclusion in the list, England now has 17 centrally contracted cricketers, along with 50 players professionally contracted to their regions.