NEWTON le Willows Cricket Club have confirmed the signing of women's cricket star Naomi Dattani.

Dattani, a professional who currently plays for North West Thunder, was one of 25 players awarded regional retainer contracts by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2020.

The 29-year-old all-rounder made the switch to Thunder after featuring in successive seasons in The Hundred with London Spirit as well as appearing for Sunrisers where she has played for the last three years following spells at Surrey Stars and Western Storm.

She has hit over 2,000 career runs to date and taken 97 wickets in 50 over and T20 cricket.

Her arrival marks the first time a Liverpool Competition side have signed a professional from the women's game to play alongside the men. 

A spokesman for the club said: “We are delighted to add Naomi to our squad and welcome her to the club. The extensive investment in our ground and facilities over the last few years is making Newton Cricket Club a very attractive place to play cricket for players of all abilities.

"It is extremely pleasing that first class cricketers are attracted to our club; Naomi’s signing follows our earlier 1XI additions of Lancashire’s Jack Morley and his county teammate, England U19 international, Tom Aspinwall.

"We are thrilled that the inclusive nature of our club is attracting more and more female players. Naomi will be the second female in the club’s history to play for our Ist XI after our homegrown talent, 17-year-old Emilia Lamb, made her first team bow last month.

"We have high hopes that 2 other girls in our set-up, Charlie Jeffreys and Leah Walkden, follow in Emilia’s footsteps over the next few years. We have also just registered Frankie Nicklin, another very talented 18 year-old from Australia who has already represented New South Wales Women in her homeland”.

Dattani is expected to make her debut for Newton in tonight's (Thursday, May 18) Vitality Club T20 home match against Hightown St Mary's.