Central Sparks have today signed Ami Campbell and Abbey Freeborn as professional players.

Freeborn and Campbell are among 51 elite women’s players across England and Wales who have received professional domestic contracts, with 10 new contracts being awarded for 2021/22.

Powerful left-handed batter, Campbell joins Central Sparks from Northern Diamonds. Campbell has been awarded her first professional contract after an outstanding 2021 season, where she top-scored for Northern Diamonds in both the playoff and final of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

Wicket-keeper batter, Freeborn has transferred to Central Sparks from Lightning. Freeborn was Lightning’s top scorer in the 2021 Charlotte Edwards Cup and was named in the PCA Women’s Team of the Year alongside now fellow Sparks players, Eve Jones and Emily Arlott.

Campbell and Freeborn complete the Central Sparks professional player roster, which includes Eve Jones, Emily Arlott, Gwen Davies and Issy Wong who have all been retained for 2021/22.

Central Sparks bid farewell to Marie Kelly, who has transferred to Lightning to continue her domestic professional career. Everyone at Central Sparks wishes Kelly the very best for her future endeavours.

Laura Macleod, Regional Director of Women’s Cricket, said: “We are extremely pleased at adding Abbey and Ami to the Sparks squad for the 2021/22 season both of whom have played significant roles in their respective regional teams. 

“Their natural ability with the bat and experience of high challenge moments will strengthen our batting line up and allow us to incorporate our talented Academy players over the course of the season.  With a comprehensive and holistic winter programme starting next week we are excited at our prospects as a team for the 2022 season.”

Central Sparks is formed of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire and is one of eight regional hubs developed by the ECB as part of a new structure for elite women’s domestic cricket. Sparks compete in the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and the 20-over Charlotte Edwards Cup.