SOUTHERN Vipers seam bowler Mary Taylor has signed her first professional contract with the club.

Taylor, 19, will remain at The Ageas Bowl-based side until at least the end of the 2024 season.

She made her debut in the 2022 Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, where she took 2-22 against South East Stars in the Eliminator at Beckenham, before being a regular in the first XI in 2023.

After having missed out on selection for England Women’s Under-19 World Cup squad, instead being picked as a non-travelling reserve, Taylor spearheaded the Vipers attack with several England players, including Lauren Bell, away on international duty for the vast portion of the summer.

The now 19 year old took 16 wickets across 17 matches in 2023, with a best of 4-39 coming against Thunder at Arundel Castle.

Mary Taylor said: “I am delighted to be offered my first full contract with the Vipers and I’m excited to continue my cricket development as a part of the Southern Vipers family.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first full season as part of the senior Vipers squad and pleased that I helped contribute to some silverware along the way.”

Adam Carty, regional director of women’s cricket, said: “Following an impressive 2022, we knew Mary was a player for the future, but we didn’t foresee her as such an impactful performer in the current.

“She’s a young lady with huge talent, and the way in which she grabbed 2023 by the scruff of the neck and made it her own was hugely revealing about her strength of mind and depth of character.

“We are hugely excited about where Mary might go in the game, eventually, as a genuine all-rounder. We wish her well, she’s a thoroughly deserved recipient of a pro contract at the Vipers.”

In just 18 matches for the Vipers, Taylor has taken 18 wickets at an average of 32.17.

She also took figures of 3-18 on debut for Southern Brave against Trent Rockets in the 2023 Women’s Hundred as she stepped into the attack in place of Lauren Bell.