Sarah Taylor on England women contracts list after break from cricket

Sarah Taylor
Sarah Taylor has played 101 one-day internationals for England

Wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor has been included on the list of England women players awarded a central contract for a newly extended period of two years.

The 27-year-old took an indefinite break from the game in May to deal with anxiety issues.

Her inclusion does not mean a definite return to the game in 2017, when England will host the World Cup.

Bowlers Alex Hartley and Beth Langston get contracts for the first time, but Rebecca Grundy misses out.

Left-arm spinner Grundy is one of three players omitted from the 2015 list, along with retired pair Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway.

The deals with the England and Wales Cricket Board include an unspecified pay rise, while seam bowler Langston is the first and only recipient of a new level of "rookie" contract.

"In order to ensure that professional cricket continues to be an attractive career option for talented female athletes, it's important that we continue to properly invest in our players," said England and Wales Cricket Board director of women's cricket Clare Connor.

"The pay increase and introduction of two-year contracts will give our players greater financial security and ensure they can be fully focused on the challenges that lie ahead."

Though it is still not clear when or if Taylor will return to playing, the awarding of a contract provides her with a salary, along with the facilities, coaching and support staff available to rest of the squad.

Sarah Taylor tweet

For a time, her anxiety issues prevented her from going to some public places. Earlier in December, she posted on social media that she had gone to a shopping centre for the first time since April.

A return by Taylor, regarded as one of the world's best batters and the first woman to play first-grade men's cricket in Australia, in time for the World Cup would be a boost for England, who have not won an international trophy since 2009.

"Sarah is doing really well with her return to cricket plan after taking some time away from the game for health reasons," said England coach Mark Robinson.

"Her aim has always been to be back playing and available for selection for the World Cup next summer, and we'll continue to offer her the support she needs to achieve that goal."

Left-arm spinner Hartley, 23, is rewarded for taking 13 wickets in the 3-2 series win in the West Indies in October - and England record.

Langston, 24, returned to the England side after a three-year absence in the 4-0 series victory in Sri Lanka in November.

Full list of centrally contracted professionals: Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Georgia Elwiss, Natasha Farrant, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Amy Jones, Heather Knight (capt), Beth Langston (rookie contract), Laura Marsh, Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Lauren Winfield, Fran Wilson, Danielle Wyatt.

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Sarah Taylor opens up about anxiety issues

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