Lend Lease Breakers Alex Blackwell, Ellyse Perry, Erin Osborne, Alyssa Healy and Sarah Coyte have been awarded Cricket Australia contracts for the 2014/15 season.
The NSW contingent makes up one-third of the 15-player Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars squad, with four players from Victoria, three from Queensland and one each from Western Australia, the ACT and South Australia.
Blackwell, Perry, Osborne, Healy and Coyte were all part of the Southern Stars squad which won a third consecutive World T20 title in Bangladesh in March, with the quintet also playing a big part in the home Ashes Series against England.
The full 2014/15 Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars squad is (States in brackets):
Alex Blackwell (NSW), Nicole Bolton (WA), Jess Cameron (Vic), Sarah Coyte (NSW), Rene Farrell (ACT), Holly Ferling (Qld), Jodie Fields (Qld), Alyssa Healy (NSW), Julie Hunter (Vic), Jess Jonassen (Qld), Meg Lanning (Vic), Erin Osborne (NSW), Ellyse Perry (NSW), Megan Schutt (SA), Elyse Villani (Vic)
Unfortunately Lend Lease Breakers vice-captain, Rachael Haynes, has lost her place in the National squad.
Haynes was voted by her peers as the NSW WNCL Player of the Year in 2013/14 and was the Player of the Match in the WNCL Final. She also added an extra dimension to her game over the summer by becoming one of the leading bowlers in the 50 over competition.
The reigning T20 and 50 over World Champions, this summer will see the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars play home series against Pakistan and the West Indies.
Following last year’s restructuring of the contracting system for women’s international and state cricketers, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars are some of the best paid female athletes in the country. In 2014-15, the top player retainer is $54,600 and the minimum CA retainer is $25,850.
The State and Territory Association contracting period will be open from 8 May – 13 June.
Selectors have also chosen 14 players, including Lend Lease Breakers Angela Reakes, Nicola Carey and Kara Sutherland, to participate in the Commonwealth Bank Shooting Stars program.
This development squad complements the Southern Stars program and aims to provide elite training and playing opportunities for talented young players.