Whanganui's former White Fern Jess Watkin is among the group of second tier national players to receive NZ Cricket's freshly introduced Development Contract for the 2019-20 season.
Having missed out on the list of regularly contracted White Ferns players for this summer, Watkin and her Central Districts team mate Natalie Dodd from Taranaki are two of the eight players to get the new deal, which is designed to help recipients join or rejoin the game's elite.
Bryan Stronach, NZC's general manager of high performance, said the ability to grow and develop talent is crucial to their programme and goes a long way to ensuring long-term success at the top level.
"We've got an opportunity to create a bespoke programme for these players," he said.
"This particular lot of contracts is for players we have identified as having talent, whom we want to work with and discover more about," he said.
The eight players chosen will receive financial support and be required to attend extra training camps, "with access to additional support in delivering their performance plans".
Watkin achieved her dream of being a Whanganui-based White Fern in 2018, when at 19-years-old she was chosen for the winter tour of Ireland and England.
The teenager had immediate success on debut, making 62 off 59 balls against Ireland as part of a One Day International (ODI) record opening stand of 172 with Suzie Bates, as the White Ferns raised another ODI record with their 491-4 total.
Watkin played six ODI's for New Zealand and nine Twenty20 matches, including at the ICC Women's Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies last November.
While Watkin had success with her offspin bowling at the world cup, taking five wickets for 62 runs off 11 overs, she lost form in the top order with the bat, making a couple of ducks, as New Zealand was eliminated in pool play with two wins, two losses.
She was then left out of the national side for the domestic series with India, but did play for the NZ Development team who faced Australia Under 19 in March.
Watkin will co-captain the Central Hinds in the Dream 11 Super Smash this season, as the team will miss White Ferns top order player Amy Sattwethwaite, who will be on maternity leave.