Walshaw cricketer Kate Cross has become one of the first female cricketers to receive an England contract.

The 22-year-old made her England debut on the tour of the West Indies last October and helped England to an historic Ashes victory over Australia in Perth earlier this year.

The Bury fast bowler, who is the daughter of former Bolton Wanderers striker David, is one of 18 players who will benefit from extra funding as the England and Wales Cricket Board look to professionalise the women’s game.