SOUTHERN Vipers have confirmed that six players have signed full-time professional contracts for 2021-22.

All-rounder Charlie Dean is the one new name on the contracted list after an impressive 2021 season which culminated in an England debut against New Zealand in September.

Dean excelled in her first taste of international cricket, taking 10 wickets at an average of 19 across the five game ODI series.

Dean joins captain Georgia Adams, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Tara Norris and Paige Schofield as the six full-time Southern Vipers players.

Southern Vipers head coach Charlotte Edwards said: “We’re really lucky to have the squad that we have and that’s shown with our performances over the past 12 months.

“I’m personally delighted to keep working with these players and we’ve seen such a big difference in their game as a result of being a professional cricketer and we look forward to extending that and working with them further.

“It’s been a whirlwind summer for Charlie. She’s always been a player we wanted to bring on as a professional cricketer and the way she has started for England is really exciting.

“I hope we do see a lot of her in the 12-18 months at the Vipers but she could be playing a lot in an England shirt. I’m really delighted for her and the contract is thoroughly deserved.”

Southern Vipers enjoyed another successful season in 2021 as they defended the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

An unbeaten 40 from Norris ensured the Vipers inflicted a third successive defeat in a final on Northern Diamonds with a thrilling last-over win.

Regional Director of Women’s Cricket, Adam Carty said: “We are delighted by the ongoing holistic & financial support from both the ECB & our Regional Host toward progressing the Women’s Elite Domestic Structure for another 12 months.

“That in turn sees an increase in support resource towards creating a greater player experience and with it we hope we’ll see further progression as a spectator product.

“In losing two of our front line players to England duties in 2021, we are aware of the importance of keeping the developmental player production line moving.

“We are excited by the skill set & game management progression we’ve seen amongst the whole 2021 squad, along with the talent we are working with across our Vipers Academy & emerging player programs across the south central region.

“To coin a phrase, I’m confident in saying, the future is bright, the future is orange.”