New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have given one-year professional contracts to Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Sian Ruck and Sara McGlashan as the first women to earn such deals.
The contracts are part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NZC and the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association (NZCPA) and will allow the players to train full-time.
Each of the players will also work to develop grass roots women's cricket, coaching and mentoring. Bates will work with Otago, Devine and Ruck with Wellington and McGlashan with Auckland.
"For the players, it allows them to dedicate more time to their own representative teams," NZC Chief Executive David White said.
"The White Ferns are the flagship team for women’s cricket in New Zealand and we’re thrilled to have secured the services of four key players for the next 12 months."
Bates added: "These contracts give us some financial security and allow us to focus solely on cricket. It’s a great honour to represent your national side, but we’re also all very passionate about developing the grassroots of our game and the opportunity to be part of that is really satisfying."
© Cricket World 2013
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