Surrey batter Aylish Cranstone has been named as the fifth and final South East Stars professional in the regional side’s first cohort of full-time cricketers.
Left-handed top order batter Cranstone joins Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophia Dunkley, Tash Farrant & Bryony Smith, who all signed up to becoming full-time professionals before this summer’s inaugural Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
Surrey-born batter Cranstone represented Hampshire & Devon at county level before returning to her home county in 2017.
She instantly became a fixture in the top order for Surrey before her form earned her a place in the Surrey Stars team that lifted the Kia Super League trophy in 2018. The 26-year-old played all six matches for South East Stars in 2020, top scoring with 46 against the Sunrisers.
This news comes after the regional side, covering the Surrey & Kent region at first team and academy levels, completed recruitment for their permanent support staff last month.
While the regional schedule for 2021 is yet to be finalised, it is expected that the first team will face sides representing the other centres of excellence around the country in both 50 over and 20 over cricket & continue to grow their academy programmes in their region.
Speaking after signing her contract, Cranstone said: “I am really excited to begin my journey as a South East Star.
“To become a professional cricketer has been a life long dream, one of which I am immensely grateful for. It’s fantastic to see the opportunities within women’s cricket evolving and it’s something I am extremely proud to be a part of.
“It was great to be able to come together as a team this summer and I’m really looking forward to seeing how we progress.
Regional Director of Women’s Cricket Richard Bedbrook said: “I’m delighted to be able to confirm Aylish as the fifth professional with the South East Stars. Aylish has excelled in county cricket and has earned the opportunity to work on her game on a full-time basis.
“With all five professionals and the support staff, it’s exciting to see many of the pieces now in place at the elite level as we build towards the 2021 summer.
“I know that Aylish, the other full-time professionals and the wider group of players will all work hard over the coming months to get the most out of themselves as cricketers and I can’t wait to see where this opportunity takes them.”