SOUTHERN Vipers boss Charlotte Edwards – who is also president of the professional cricketer’s association – praised the “great work” of the organisation in lifting the women’s game.

Following the introduction of a sixth professional player at each region in 2022, the PCA visited each team for a face-to-face meeting to update, discuss and debate the progress of the domestic professional game.

The players were encouraged to ask questions of the PCA and to put forward their own views on how to improve conditions in the future.

Amongst the key topics for discussion was an update on the Fairer Futures project, as part of the PCA’s work in equality, diversity and inclusion.

This focused on tangible advancements that have been made for the current campaign and further improvements that are due to be implemented from 2023.

And Edwards – who recently led the Vipers to T20 success in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, named after her – insisted it has been eye opening for some of the players.

She said: “Some of the players weren’t aware of the things that the PCA can provide them, so it’s been great having them here because the players now know they’ve got the support in place for them on this journey they’re on.

“I’m in a good position because I get to see the potential problems the players have and equally, in my role as President of the PCA, I have the opportunity to see what we can do to support the players and what workshops we can give them that add value.

“We’ve done some great work with the uplift in salaries for the Hundred and salary increases in the regional game as well, it’s lovely to see the progress that’s been made.”

Southern Vipers’ player-coach, Anya Shrubsole, added: “It’s absolutely massive that players can now carry on as a professional player even after ending their careers with England.

“The women’s game has developed so much since when I first started and to have the PCA on board negotiating those initial contracts and acting as a support that you can go and ask questions to has been a massive help.

“I’d love to see the regional teams become fully professional, I think that would be amazing and it would really develop the England team.”

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